Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
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 5. In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick are accidentally sent to a prison camp, but they are unaware that it's actually a prison.



While waiting at the Bikini Bottom Dock & Shipyard, SpongeBob prepares for summer camp at Sun-N-Fun Island in the beginning of the episode. Then 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, completely missing the other campers board the boat to Sun-N-Fun Island which takes off without SpongeBob, 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-N-Fun Island is boring.

SpongeBob and Patrick excited about camp.

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."

Warden and others watching the play.

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-N-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 of the episode, 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, and both of them start crying again.



 ) 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 2 - 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!"]
  Suspended Suspense - Nicolas Carr ["We got ourselves a couple of rabble-rousers!"]
  Steel Licks 17 - 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]
  Suspended Suspense - Nicolas Carr ["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! - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob gets an idea]
  Worker's Symphony - Hans May [SpongeBob typing]
  ? ["Rise and shine!"]
  Suspended Suspense - Nicolas Carr [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]
  Sneaky 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 10 - Jeremy Wakefield [boat sinks completely]
  Circus Flourish A - Daniel Jean Jeannin [SpongeBob and Patrick bow]
  Suspended Suspense - Nicolas Carr ["I'm stumped."]
  Drama Link (G) - Hubert Clifford [camp counselor arrives]
  Goofy Conversation 2 - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [counselor explains]
  Parting of the Clouds Sting II - Nicolas Carr ["...and we help and support each other."]
  Drama Link (D) - Hubert Clifford ["Stop!"]
  What's This - 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.[2]
  • 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).[3]



  • This episode was on TurboNick two days before it premiered on TV.
  • 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."[4]
  • The title card background is similar to those of "Welcome to the Chum Bucket," "Skill Crane," and "Enemy In-Law."
  • List of campers:
    • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • Matty Mollusk (name on role call list)
    • Billy Blenny (name on role call list)
    • Percy Perch (name on role call list)
    • Tom Tarpon (name on role call list)
    • Lois Flatfish (name on role call list)
    • Incidental 67KID (waiting on dock)
    • Incidental 73KID (waiting on dock)
    • Incidental 100 (waiting on dock)
    • Incidental 101 (waiting on dock)
    • Incidental 103 (waiting on dock)
    • Incidental 108 (waiting on dock)
    • Incidental 109 (waiting on dock)
    • Incidental 152 (waiting on dock)
    • Incidental 158 (waiting on dock)
    • Octopus boy (waiting on dock)
  • 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.
  • Irony: SpongeBob and Patrick should’ve just went aboard the Sun-N-Fun Island boat instead of crying.
  • 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 Roderick from "Mrs. Puff, You're Fired."
  • This is the fifth episode where a real language is mentioned, which is English. The first instance is in "Wormy," where Italian is mentioned, 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 was "Ripped Pants," the second was "Walking Small," the third was "The Fry Cook Games," the fourth was "SpongeGuard on Duty" (not counting the live-action SpongeBob costume), and the fifth was "Mermaid Man vs. SpongeBob."
  • In the Indonesian dub, the scene with SpongeBob and Patrick inside of a hole in the ground was skipped to the prisoners mining the rocks due to being really similar to the 1965 infamous and controversial Thirtieth of September Movement incident, abbreviated as G30S. The incident, masterminded by the Communist Party of Indonesia, caused a huge political and social turmoil in Indonesia, resulting anything related to communism or the party is strictly prohibited.

Cultural references


Title card cut for both Nickelodeon and Nick@Nite, from the March 16, 2021 airing at 6:30 AM.

Title card left intact on Nicktoons, from the November 24, 2020 airing at 12:00 AM.

  • Since 2013, the title card is always skipped whenever this episode is broadcast on Nickelodeon USA[5] and Nick@Nite.[6] Just like "Jellyfish Jam," this could possibly be due to a mastering error that occurred when Nickelodeon started time compressing all of the full-screen episodes at the time to make room for commercial breaks. The title card is left intact for all of the Nicktoons USA airings, mainly because they use a remastered print of this episode.[7]
  • 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 after being painted.



Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants VE

Emmy Awards Cup Emmy.png

Primetime Emmy Awards

Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)

Nominees: Sean Dempsey, Derek Drymon, Juli Murphy Hashiguchi, Sam Henderson, Stephen Hillenburg, Jay Lender, Mark O'Hare, Kent Osborne, Alan Smart, Paul Tibbitt, Tom Yasumi (for "New Student Starfish"/"Clams," 2003)Derek Drymon, Juli Murphy Hashiguchi, Stephen Hillenburg, Kent Osborne, Andrew Overtoom, Alan Smart, Paul Tibbitt (for "Ugh," 2004)Mike Bell, C.H. Greenblatt, Stephen Hillenburg, Alan Smart, Paul Tibbitt, Vincent Waller, Tom Yasumi (for "Fear of a Krabby Patty"/"Shell of a Man," 2005)Casey Alexander, Luke Brookshier, Stephen Hillenburg, Tom King, Dani Michaeli, Chris Mitchell, Andrew Overtoom, Alan Smart, Paul Tibbitt and Tom Yasumi (for "Bummer Vacation"/"Wigstruck," 2007)Steven Banks, Charlie Bean, Stephen Hillenburg, Dani Michaeli, Chris Reccardi, Alan Smart, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt, Tom Yasumi (for "The Inmates of Summer"/"The Two Faces of Squidward," 2008)

Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Animated Programs

Nominees: Dina Buteyn, Stephen Hillenburg, Dani Michaeli, Alan Smart, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt and Tom Yasumi (for "Dear Vikings," 2009)

Outstanding Short-format Animated Program

Nominees: Luke Brookshier, Dina Buteyn, Nate Cash, Stephen Hillenburg, Doug Lawrence, Andrew Overtoom, Alan Smart and Paul Tibbitt (for "That Sinking Feeling," 2011)Marc Ceccarelli, Stephen Hillenburg, Kyle McCulloch, Jennie Monica, Jack Pendarvis, Alan Smart, Paul Tibbitt, Vincent Waller, Tom Yasumi (for "Company Picnic," 2016)Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli, Stephen Hillenburg, Jennie Monica, Adam Paloian, Alan Smart, Vincent Waller, Tom Yasumi (for "Plankton Paranoia," 2019)

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)Stephen Hillenburg, Marc Ceccarelli, Vincent Waller and Jennie Monica (2018)

Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program

Voice actors: Rodger Bumpass as Squidward Tentacles (2012)Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants (2018)Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants (2020)

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)

Outstanding Sound Mixing for an Animated Program

Nominees: D.J. Lynch, Justin Brinsfield, Ryan Greene, Manny Grijalva, Jeff Hutchins and Aran Tanchum (2020)