Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
If you were looking for the article about the puppet version of this episode, then see The Camping Episode: Puppet Edition!.
If you were looking for the article about the song, then see Camp Fire Song Song.

"The Camping Episode" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 3. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick go camping on SpongeBob's front lawn, to Squidward's dismay.



The episode begins with Squidward in his house preparing for bed as he looks forward to a weekend of peace and quiet, especially with SpongeBob and Patrick deciding to go camping. However, he is extremely exasperated and disappointed to learn that they are camping in SpongeBob's front yard, right outside his window.

Squidward camping with SpongeBob and Patrick.

Squidward confronts SpongeBob and Patrick in their tent, pointing out they cannot be "camping" if they are only ten feet away from SpongeBob's house. SpongeBob simply states that it does not matter where you camp, as long as you are in the wilderness. After getting the impression that the duo believe Squidward is not manly or qualified enough to camp, he impulsively decides to join SpongeBob and Patrick in their "camping." Squidward attempts to demonstrate "real camping" as SpongeBob and Patrick take notes, but fails to set up his automated tent, so he decides to sleep under the stars.

The gang begins roasting marshmallows while imitating astronauts. Squidward dismisses them and plans to get a can opener from his house so he can eat a can of Swedish Barnacle Balls. However, SpongeBob stops him from doing so, saying that "it just doesn't seem to fit the camping spirit." Squidward grudgingly decides to eat the marshmallows, but Patrick repeatedly blows on his burned ones, sending them flying into Squidward's face. SpongeBob then plays the "Campfire Song Song." Squidward dislikes it and begins playing "Kumbayah" very badly on his clarinet. Suddenly, a terrified SpongeBob stops Squidward by shooting a marshmallow through his clarinet and into his windpipe, causing him to choke.

After Squidward recovers, he yells at SpongeBob for hurting him. He claims that it is not safe to play the clarinet badly in the wilderness at night, as he might attract a sea bear. Squidward angrily protests that sea bears do not exist, but SpongeBob and Patrick insist that they are real, showing various newspaper articles of Fake Science Monthly as proof. Squidward attempts to disprove their existence by having SpongeBob and Patrick list all the things which supposedly attract sea bears, such as eating cheese cubes, wearing a hoop skirt and clown shoes, waving a flashlight, etc. He then begins doing all these actions at once, despite SpongeBob and Patrick's pleas. He quickly draws an "anti-sea-bear circle" in the dirt to protect himself and Patrick.

A sea bear attacks Squidward.

Squidward then gloats how a sea bear has not arrived, to which SpongeBob explains he forgot one thing: wearing a sombrero in a "goofy fashion." Just then, a real sea bear appears and demonstrates how the hat should be worn, much to Squidward's horror. The bear mauls the shocked Squidward before leaving. SpongeBob and Patrick urge Squidward to jump into their circle, but he is skeptical of this and tries to flee, only to be attacked by the sea bear again for various reasons.

After being attacked for the sixth time, SpongeBob concludes the sea bear simply does not like Squidward. After failing to draw his own anti-sea-bear circle, it became an oval! So Squidward finally leaps into SpongeBob and Patrick's. When the sea-bear appears again, it notices Squidward is now in the circle and growls at him in warning for now being safe, before leaving the area. Squidward is relieved the creature is finally gone and thanks SpongeBob and Patrick for saving his life as the trio celebrate.

SpongeBob mentions they are lucky to not be attacked by a sea rhinoceros. Hearing this, Squidward fearfully asks what attracts them, to which Patrick replies, "The sound of a sea bear attack." A sea rhinoceros then appears and growls at Squidward. SpongeBob then wraps up the episode by remarking how lucky they all are to be wearing anti-sea rhinoceros undergarments, except for Squidward, who does not have a pair on, causing him to whimper in resignation and fear.

Running gags

  • The sea bear mauling Squidward off-screen and censored.
  • Patrick overheating his marshmallow and blowing it at Squidward, landing on his face.





 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Tom Fool - Van Phillips, The Connaught Light Orchestra [title card]
  Lonely Heart's Club A - David Bell, Otto Sieben [SpongeBob and Patrick camping ten feet from SpongeBob's house]
  Tomfoolery - David Snell [Squidward joins them]
  Andy Anorak - Chris Marshall [roasting marshmallows]
  Camp Fire Song Song - Dan Povenmire, Jay Lender
  Clarinet - Brad Carow [Squidward playing clarinet]
  Dramatic Cue (B) - Ronald Hanmer ["Oh, no! I'll save you, Squidward!"]
  House of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [SpongeBob warns Squidward about sea bears (Part 1)/SpongeBob and Patrick tell Squidward what attracts sea bears. (Part 2)]
  Co Co Baby A - Gil Flat [Squidward doing everything that attracts sea bears]
  Dangerous A - Mladen Franko [Sea bear appears.]
  Dangerous C - Mladen Franko [First time Sea Bear attacks Squidward/Second time Sea Bear attacks Squidward/Third time Sea Bear attacks Squidward/Fourth time Sea Bear attacks Squidward/Fifth time Sea Bear attacks Squidward/Sixth time Sea Bear attacks Squidward]
  Dangerous A - Mladen Franko [sea bear growls at Squidward]
  Dangerous C - Mladen Franko [sea bear points at Squidward and leaves]
  Hula Festival - George Elliott [ending]



"I always laugh even though I know the sea bear attacks are coming. By the way, SpongeBob singing the ever-accelerating verses of "The Campfire SONG Song" is NOT artificially sped up. (People always ask about that!)"
  • "The Camping Episode" was ranked #22 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.



  • This episode premiered in the United States on the same day as the 2004 Kids' Choice Awards and the premiere of Danny Phantom.
  • The title card background for this episode is similar to those of "Shanghaied," "Club SpongeBob," and "Mid-Life Crustacean," except this one looks like a painting and has food and camping supplies in it.
  • This episode was originally going to be called "Squid Gets Mauled," but was then changed to "The Camping Episode."[3][4][5][6]
    • This was likely because the Sea Bear's attack on Squidward was not as relevant enough to the plot as SpongeBob and Patrick camping on their front lawn.
    • This could also be because the latter title was not family-friendly, since it is violent in nature.
    • This also could've been just a placeholder name, and was never meant to be the final name of the episode.
  • This is the second episode where Patrick is left-handed. When he is writing down how to set up a tent he is writing with his left hand, but in other episodes, he is right-handed. The first episode to depict Patrick as left-handed was "Jellyfishing."
  • Two clips of this episode were used in the commercials of The Times that are A'Changin' event, however this did not air until the Spring of 2004.
  • This episode takes place on Saturday, May 25th.
  • In 2003, a clip from the episode was used for a marathon titled Nickelodeon Lunchtoon in Nickelodeon Australia.[7]
  • In the episode "Idiot Box," Squidward finds the sombrero he wears in this episode in a box. He had then wondered why he had not worn it yet.
  • Things Squidward does that attracts the sea bear:
    • Plays the clarinet badly.
    • Waves a flashlight back and forth really fast. (Seen as pray)
    • Stomps on the ground. (Taken as challenging)
    • Eats cubed cheese.
    • Wears a sombrero in a goofy fashion. (Upside down)
    • Wears a hoop skirt.
    • Wears clown shoes.
    • Screeches like a chimpanzee.
  • How Squidward gets attacked by the sea bear:
    • Does everything that attracts a sea bear.
    • Running.
    • Limping.
    • Crawling.
    • The sea bear doesn't like him.
    • Draws an oval instead of a circle.
Spongebob Patrick Family Guy.jpg
  • The "Camp Fire Song Song" is heard in a parody scene of the Family Guy episode "Road to Rupert," in which Peter Griffin watches a scene from this episode, specifically the Campfire song. The song was written by Dan Povenmire, who was also a director on said Family Guy episode. Because of this, he was able to gain the rights to the song.
    • Unlike the original version, Squidward is not in it.
  • This was the last episode Dan Povenmire worked on.
  • This episode was paired up with different episodes:
  • There is an online game based on the sea bear attack called Camping Chaos!
  • This was the only episode that Sam Henderson wrote where he was not a storyboard director.
  • SpongeBob says "Who knew this guy..." seventeen times.
  • In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Biwak w dziczy", which translates to "Camping in the Wilds."[citation needed]
  • In the Serbian dub, the marshmallows were localized as "munchmallows", which were Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats.[citation needed]
  • This is one of the rare times where SpongeBob tells Squidward that he is terrible at playing the clarinet.
  • In the original version of The Campfire Song, when SpongeBob points to Patrick, he was supposed to say "Letters, letters, letters". However, it was never used.[11]
  • Similar to "Scaredy Pants," the whole episode takes place entirely at night and the main antagonist of the episode appears near the end.

Cultural references


Squidward's wrinkles are missing.

  • When Squidward looks at his cup of tea while in bed, the wrinkles on his forehead are gone. When he looks at his book, they reappear, but when he imitates SpongeBob's laugh, his wrinkles are gone again.
  • After Squidward unsuccessfully assembles his tent, when the scene shows the ground by his feet again, his backpack is gone.
  • When SpongeBob starts the song, he is sitting on a log. When he sits back down, the log is gone.
  • When the sea rhinoceros snorts, one of the bubble groups stops in mid air.
  • When Squidward tries to set up his tent, he rips it. After the tent is put up, the rip is nowhere to be seen.
  • The last time Patrick blows his marshmallow, he does not put it in the fire.
  • When the sea bear attacks Squidward for the first time, he is shown with bandages on his arms and legs. In the next scene, they disappear, only showing an arm cast. In the end, they reappear.
  • Although SpongeBob tells Squidward to chew the marshmallow that was lodged in his throat, the whole marshmallow is seen going down his esophagus.
  • In the French dub, after Squidward chews the marshmallow, there is about a three-second pause on Squidward with no dialogue before SpongeBob says "Meilleur," which means "Better" in French.
    • In that same dub "The Camp fire Song Song" is not dubbed into French.

SpongeBob's disconnected arm.

  • While starting to sing the song, SpongeBob's right arm gets disconnected from his body for a frame.



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