If you were looking for the article about the DVD, then see The Inmates of Summer (DVD).

"The Inmates of Summer" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season five. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick are accidentally sent to a prison camp.



While waiting at the Bikini Bottom Dock & Shipyard, SpongeBob prepares for summer camp at Sun Fun Island. All of a sudden, Patrick comes running to SpongeBob mentioning to him that he never told Patrick that he was leaving. They both start crying and hugging each other as the other campers board the boat to Sun Fun Island and the Inferno Island boat appears. SpongeBob asks Patrick to come to camp with him, not knowing they are going to prison camp. SpongeBob doesn't know very much about the camp, and thinks Sun Fun Island is boring.

Inmates Of Summer 18

The warden welcomes the prisoners to Inferno Island, but is assaulted through the sound of cheering from SpongeBob and Patrick. The warden gets so annoyed that he says that he feels like "chewing somebody's head off" (not literally). Patrick feels kind of hungry when the warden mentions it, and he gives SpongeBob and Patrick tires to eat. The warden and the others are impressed with both of them eating the tires. The warden has SpongeBob and Patrick digest the tires in a low, narrow hole with chum buried on top of them.

Three days later, the warden lets SpongeBob and Patrick out of the hole, but they do not feel like they've been punished since they thought it was an enjoyable soak. The warden feels so ashamed that he makes the activities very boring and difficult. Apparently, SpongeBob and Patrick think that the "Coal Breaking" activity is fun and challenging even though they are wearing heavy ankle weights.

SpongeBob comes to the conclusion that he and Patrick are having more fun than the other prisoners. Patrick suggests that they do a fun activity altogether, then they would be having the same amount of fun as each other. This hatches an idea in SpongeBob's brain, so he works on a play all night. The warden finds the script and in the morning he yells at the prisoners to find out which one of them wrote the paper. SpongeBob speaks up and says it is a play for "amusement and inspiration."

The Inmates of Summer 139

SpongeBob builds a boat for the play to take place in. One of the prisoners notices that they could use the boat to escape. After the play, the prisoners attempt to escape from the island, until they realize that the boat is just a prop and is not real, leading them to sink. The prisoners swim back to the island, and the warden is now furious. Suddenly, the Counselor of SpongeBob's camp comes to Inferno Island, to retrieve SpongeBob, who was absent from his camp. The prisoners, seeing their chance, all say that they are SpongeBob so they can be taken to Sun Fun Island. The warden asks the counselor what kind of activities they do at his Sun-N-Fun Island. The counselor says that they make macaroni art, sing campfire songs, and help and support each other.

So, at the end, the inmates, prisoners, and SpongeBob and Patrick make macaroni art. Patrick confesses that he likes the other island better and so does SpongeBob, with the two still oblivious to the truth.



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Cream Pie - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [title card]
  Queen's Aloha Oe C - Kapono Beamer, Queen Lili'uokalani [opening]
  Grass Skirt Chase - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["SpongeBob! SpongeBob!"]
  Whisper from the Past [#64] - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob and Patrick crying]
  Sun Fun Island - Aaron Springer, Eban Schletter [campers sing as they board the boat]
  Slave Caravan 1 - Gregor F. Narholz [prison boat appears]
  Steel Licks 1 - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob decides to bring Patrick with him to summer camp]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [transition to next scene]
  Goofy Conversation - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["This stuff is just my carry-on."]
  Slave Caravan 2 - Gregor F. Narholz [boat leaves dock]
  Sun Fun Island - Aaron Springer, Eban Schletter [campers singing]
  Mounting the Scaffold 1 - Gregor F. Narholz [exterior of Inferno Island]
  Death March - Eric Allen ["Could that have been an unrequested sound off?"]
  Tympup A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy ["Holy fish paste!"]
  Unknown Track 29 - "We got ourselves a couple of rabble-rousers!"
  Steel Licks 16 - Jeremy Wakefield ["The food coma is setting in."]
  Mounting the Scaffold 1 - Gregor F. Narholz ["Did you say a nap?!"]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob and Patrick smile]
  Beheading of the King - Laurie Johnson [the hole]
  The Horror Never Ends 60 - Gregor F. Narholz [chum poured in]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr [3 days later]
  Unknown Track 29 - "All right, let 'em out."
  Wooden Bear - Gil Flat, Tony Tape, Florian Voelxen [SpongeBob and Patrick ate all the chum]
  Steel Licks 1 - Jeremy Wakefield [prisoners coughing]
  Slave Caravan 2 - Gregor F. Narholz [breaking rocks]
  Alekoki - Kapono Beamer ["What's wrong, SpongeBob?"]
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob gets an idea]
  Worker's Symphony - Hans May [SpongeBob typing]
  ? ["Rise and shine!"]
  Unknown Track 29 - SpongeBob tells warden that they'll do a play in the prison
  Dress Rehearsal [#4] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [SpongeBob and Patrick building a boat]
  Slinky Panther Pants - Nicolas Carr [prisoners plan to escape]
  Vaudeville Knees Up [#40] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [opening night]
  Together - Chris Reccardi, Tuck Tucker, Eban Schletter [prisoners sing this]
  Gala Premiere - Laurie Johnson [after the play]
  Dramatic Cue (g) - Ronald Hanmer [prisoners escape on the boat]
  Legends of the Silver Screen - Cedric King-Palmer [curtain comes back up]
  Dramatic Cue (a) - Ronald Hanmer [warden sees prisoners escaping]
  Steel Licks 9 - Jeremy Wakefield [boat sinks completely]
  Circus Flourish A - Daniel Jean Jeannin [SpongeBob and Patrick bow]
  Unknown Track 29 - "I'm stumped."
  Drama Link (g) - Hubert Clifford [camp counselor arrives]
  Goofy Conversation - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [counselor explains]
  Parting of the Clouds - Nicolas Carr ["...and we help and support each other."]
  Drama Link (d) - Hubert Clifford ["STOP!"]
  What's This Sting - Nicolas Carr [warden gets an idea]
  Tentically Speaking - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [ending]



  • Critic Paul Mavis of the DVD Talk in a review of SpongeBob's Pest of the West, praised the episode for "expertly building on one laugh after another," as well as Ronald Lee Ermey's voice work. He called it one of his "favorite" episodes.[1]
  • This episode and "The Two Faces of Squidward" were nominated for an Emmy at the 2008 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour).[2]



  • This episode was paired up with "The Two Faces of Squidward" during its first airing in the Super Stuffed Nicksgiving Weekend 2007, but has since been re-airing with "To Save a Squirrel."
  • The title card background for this episode is similar to that of "Skill Crane."
  • List of campers:
    • Mattie Mollusk (on Kraus' list)
    • Billy Belenny (on Kraus' list)
    • Percy Perch (on Kraus' list)
    • Tom Tarpon (on Kraus' list)
    • Lois Flatfish (on Kraus' list)
    • Monroe Timmy (waiting on dock)
    • Four other campers
  • R. Lee Ermey, the portrayer of the warden did in fact used to be in the military, just like his character in the episode.
  • The other prisoners do not react when they are holding the chum, but when Patrick breathes, they do react to it.
  • Ironically, it took many days for the Sun-N-Fun Island counselors to notice that SpongeBob was missing.
  • This is the first episode to use the track "Cream Pie" in a title card at its normal pitch. It played low-pitched in the title card of "Big Pink Loser."
  • This is the second episode to have a drill sergeant-type character. The first is Sergeant Sam Roderick from "Mrs. Puff, You're Fired."
  • This is the fifth episode where a real language is mentioned, which is English. Italian is mentioned "Wormy" at first. The second instance is in "Christmas Who?," where Portuguese is mentioned, the third instance is in "Gary Takes a Bath," where French is mentioned, and the fourth instance is in "New Student Starfish," where Spanish is mentioned.
  • This is the sixth episode in which, at no point, SpongeBob wears his normal clothes. The first is "Ripped Pants," the second is "Walking Small," the third is "The Fry Cook Games," the fourth is "SpongeGuard on Duty" (not counting live-action SpongeBob costume), and the fifth is "Mermaid Man vs. SpongeBob."

Cultural references

  • The episode's title is a reference to Don Henley's song "The Boys of Summer" or "The Inmates of Alcatraz."
  • Inferno Island is based off Alcatraz Island, an island prison in San Francisco, California.
  • The warden's demeanor appears to be based on that of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from the 1987 Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket, whom R. Lee Ermey (the voice of the warden) also portrayed.
  • The warden is similar to the warden in the novel and its movie adaptation, Holes.


  • In Nickelodeon USA airings since 2013, the title card is skipped.[3]
  • The quarter that SpongeBob tips to the warden falls on the ground. Then, when the warden puts the coffin into the water, the quarter is missing.
  • SpongeBob's paint brush is lime green, but there is no green paint on the boat.


Nickelodeon (Partial) Commercial Breaks (November 23, 2007)

Nickelodeon (Partial) Commercial Breaks (November 23, 2007)

“Together” 🎶 The Inmates of Summer TuesdayTunes

“Together” 🎶 The Inmates of Summer TuesdayTunes


Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants (VE)

Emmy Awards Cup Emmy

Daytime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program

Directors: Andrew Overtoom, Andrea Romano, Alan Smart and Tom Yasumi (2010)Casey Alexander, Luke Brookshier, Nate Cash, Zeus Cervas, Sean Charmatz, Andrew Overtoom, Andrea Romano, Alan Smart, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt, Vincent Waller and Tom Yasumi (2012)

Outstanding Special Class Animated Program

Animators: Dina Buteyn, Stephen Hillenburg and Paul Tibbitt (2010)

Outstanding Children's Animated Program

Nominees: Stephen Hillenburg, Jennie Monica Hammond and Paul Tibbitt (2012)

Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program

Voice actors: Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles (2012)

Outstanding Sound Editing – Animation

Nominees: Todd Brodie, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Chris Gresham, Matt Hall, Jeffrey Hutchins, James Lifton, Paulette Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Aran Tanchum and Kimberlee Vanek (2012) • Mishelle Fordham, Vincent Guisetti, Jeffrey Hutchins, James Lifton, Paulette Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Wes Otis, Monique Reymond and Aran Tanchum (2013) • Devon Bowman, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Jeff Hutchins, Aran Tanchum and Vincent Guisetti (2014)

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