- French Narrator
- People near Nickelodeon Animation Studio (debut)
- Don Newhouse (cameo)
- Potty the Parrot
- Patchy the Pirate
- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Incidental 7
- Pearl Krabs (cameo in "Remembering SpongeBob" montage)
- Sandy Cheeks (cameo in "Remembering SpongeBob" montage)
- Squidward Tentacles
- Mrs. Puff
- Incidental 88 (cameo in "Remembering SpongeBob" montage)
- Mrs. Johnson (debut)
- Don (mentioned)
- Monkey (cameo on map)
- King Neptune (mentioned)
- Children at the playground (debut)
- Adults around the playground (debut)
- Man inside the treasure chest (debut)
- Pickled garlic mascots (debut)
- Patrick Star
- Gary the Snail
- Grandpa SquarePants (debut)
- Billy Bob Star (mentioned)
- Old Man Jenkins (debut)
- Farmer Jenkins
- Sailor Jenkins
- Cannonball Jenkins
- Incidental 86 (storyboard version only)
- Fred (purple, brown)
- Incidental 37B
- Incidental 39
- Incidental 6
- Incidental 103
- Incidental 14
- Incidental 41
- Parents with three babies (debut)
- Incidental 93
- Incidental 48
- Incidental 94 (tan)
- Incidental 152
- Incidental 105
- Incidental 42
- Annette (debut)
- Incidental 104
- Incidental 107
- Incidental 106
- Incidental 150
- Incidental 153
- Incidental 151
- Eugene H. Krabs
- Mime (debut)
- Sheldon J. Plankton
- Realistic Fish Head
- Incidental 92 (name revealed)
- Shrimp (mentioned)
- Larry the Lobster
- Ted the fish
- Incidental 16
- Incidental 46
- Incidental 5
- Scallops and clams
- Human clown
- Human meteorologist (debut)
- Cowboys on horses
- Dancing anemone (cameo)
- Human football players (cameo)
- Mariachi band (debut)
Potty flies into Patchy's bathroom and says that an audience of children is waiting to see a lost episode, as announced by the French Narrator. Patchy is taking a shower, and he says that he has lost the (already) lost episode, and tells the children to forget about SpongeBob. The French narrator introduces a segment called "Remembering SpongeBob," a musical montage of clips from past episodes from the first three seasons.
Suddenly, a map revealing the location of the lost episode is launched through Patchy's window. After a long treasure hunt, Patchy finds the tape that holds the episode, but sees a several-minute clip of SpongeBob walking in a straight line followed by SMPTE color bars. Thinking that SpongeBob has "betrayed" him, Patchy decides to get rid of all his SpongeBob merchandise and run away from home. However, when he leaves the house, the countdown to the real lost episode starts. Potty quickly alerts Patchy of this news and he quickly runs back in, puts his SpongeBob stuff back, and sits down to watch with Potty.
The SpongeBob episode segment begins at Jellyfish Fields with SpongeBob wishing he could fly with the jellyfish. He makes several attempts to do so, including a biplane, bat wings, a garden chair with balloons, and a giant kite pulled by a bicycle, some of these attempts assisted by Patrick. After his failed attempts are witnessed by others, he becomes known as "The Birdman of Bikini Bottom" and is ridiculed. He tells the people that he is sad to be ridiculed for trying to live up to his dreams. The townspeople tell him that they all once had unfulfilled dreams, then they proceed to form a mob and start chasing him for thinking he is more important than them. The act ends when SpongeBob runs off a cliff and falls into a truck of mud, then into a truck of feathers, much to his misfortune.
Later on, Act 2 begins by showing SpongeBob in his house, having given up on his dream. He begins to dry his "hair," then he receives an insulting phone call from a "fan" of the "Birdman," namely, "Joe Momma." SpongeBob puts the hairdryer in his pants while he talks, and the dryer inflates his pants, giving him the ability to fly. He goes around helping people, earning their admiration, and becoming a local celebrity of sorts. However, the lazy citizens continue to ask increasingly unnecessary favors of him, particularly those which do not require flight, leaving him no time to fly with the jellyfish. When he tries to escape to Jellyfish Fields, the people form a mob and chase him, but are unable to catch him. However, Cannonball Jenkins blasts SpongeBob, destroying the pants and sending him plummeting to the ground. The people seem as though they are mourning SpongeBob's death, but they are really mourning the inflatable pants.
After they take his pants and leave, SpongeBob is about to go home, but suddenly, the jellyfish help him fly. They take him home as he sings an intentionally corny song about how all one needs to fly is friendship. As he says goodbye to the jellyfish, Patrick greets SpongeBob and offers him a trip to the Pizza House. SpongeBob declines and leaves it up to the jellyfish for flying. Patrick then flies off as a superhero does, with his regular, uninflated pants. A confused SpongeBob wonders if Patrick just flew, only for him to doubt it because of how silly and impossible that seems. The episode ends as he looks after Patrick out of curiosity.
After the episode, Patchy attempts to play it again but he does not know how to rewind it to the beginning. He and Potty press a lot of buttons on the remote, causing the VCR to malfunction and spit the tape which entangles Patchy. Thus, the lost episode is lost forever and the scene changes to an exterior shot of Patchy's house, but now at nighttime, the narrator assures the audience that whether or not the lost episode will remain lost, as long as there are stars in the sky, SpongeBob will live on in fans' hearts and minds. As the stars form a picture of SpongeBob, the narrator tells the viewers to get lost, thus ending the episode from there.
- Old Man Jenkins saying, "I knew no good would come from city folk and their flying machines!" after not liking SpongeBob's flying attempts.
- When Patchy is looking for something, a brick is thrown through the window and hits him, knocking him out; the brick contains the item he is looking for.
- When someone mentions their grandfather, Grandpa SquarePants appears in their thought cloud.
- SpongeBob doing favors for the townsfolk.
- SpongeBob trying to get to Jellyfish Fields.
Scenes with SpongeBob are shown, in order of appearance:
- "As Seen on TV" (walking into Mr. Krabs' office)
- "Bubblestand" ("bringing it around town" when doing the bubble-blowing technique)
- "The Chaperone" (drawing a checkmark on a patty with mustard, twitching his long legs at the prom with Pearl)
- "Pizza Delivery" (splitting in half and together again while celebrating being saved)
- "As Seen on TV" (shocked, thinking the customers adore him)
- "Help Wanted" (lifting his stuffed animal barbell)
- "Valentine's Day" (throwing valentine cards around)
- "Tea at the Treedome" (accidentally catches himself when attempting to catch a jellyfish)
- "Ripped Pants" (ripping his swim trunks when surfing)
- "Karate Choppers" (dodging Sandy's attack by splitting in half)
- "Grandma's Kisses" (blowing a pipe)
- "F.U.N." (ripping fake skin off, revealing real skin)
- "Pizza Delivery" (inflated when checking tire pressure)
- "Naughty Nautical Neighbors" (whispering into bubble)
- "MuscleBob BuffPants" (catching jellyfish with his muscular body, in imagination)
- "Home Sweet Pineapple" (in bed with Squidward)
- "The Chaperone" (drying his insides with a towel after a shower)
- "Boating School" (admitting he is cheating during the test)
- "Band Geeks" (singing "Sweet Victory")
- "The Chaperone" (removing eyelashes)
- "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy" (sucking a table)
- "Nature Pants" (shrinking and turning black on the stove)
- "Karate Choppers" (spinning arms)
- "Reef Blower" (blowing Squidward with reef blower)
- "F.U.N." (dancing and sing "The F.U.N. Song")
- "The Paper" (talking to Squidward; Squidward closes the door)
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ A Pirate's Life for Me (A) - Ron Goodwin ["Lost Episode" intro]
‣ 'Er Indoors - Johnny Hawksworth [Patchy taking a shower]
‣ Award Winners A - Otto Sieben [Remembering SpongeBob]
‣ Spanish Ladies (B) - Robin Jeffrey, Tim Laycock ["I don't believe I lost the lost episode."]
‣ Tripping Upstairs - Brian Peters [map to the lost episode]
‣ The Jovial Buccaneers [#32] - John Fox [Patchy following the map]
‣ The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz [shot of the playground]
‣ Dramatic Cue (G) - Ronald Hanmer [seven trials of Monkey Lagoon]
‣ Sea Fanfare - John Fox [treasure chest]
‣ Playbill - Wilfred William Burns ["Come on, Potty, time's a-wastin'!"]
◦ Bubble Beat Box - Theo Mondle [Plays during the walk cycle.]
‣ Lovely Scenery C - Mladen Franko ["SpongeBob betrayed us!"]
‣ Of Love and Destiny - Leighton Lucas [Patchy disposes of all his SpongeBob belongings]
‣ Ta-Ra A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy ["Hooray! Let's watch!"]
‣ Screen Heroes (A) - Simon David Chamberlain ["The Sponge Who Could Fly" title card]
‣ Galleon - Sam Fonteyn [opening]
‣ Police Car - Sam Spence [SpongeBob springs into action]
◦ I Wish I Could Fly - Eban Schletter, Paul Tibbitt, Kent Osborne
• Harp! - Nicolas Carr ["I'm gonna follow his advice."]
• Earl's Revenge - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob building a plane]
• Steel Licks 9 - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob and Patrick run away]
• Steel Licks 10 - Jeremy Wakefield [Transition to next scene]
‣ Wild Panic [#39.03] - Gregor F. Narholz [bat costume]
‣ Ulkereien - Gerhard Trede [lawn chair with balloons]
‣ The Adventure Begins - Jonathan Neal [SpongeBob tied to a kite]
‣ Hawaiian Link (A) - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob returning the kite]
• Idea Vibe - Nicolas Carr ["You'll see."]
‣ Lonely Heart's Club A - David Bell, Otto Sieben [everyone ridiculing SpongeBob]
• Grass Skirt Chase - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob chased off a cliff]
• Solo Steel 2 - Jeremy Wakefield ["There they go again, Gary."]
‣ Dramatic Climax - Mike Sunderland [SpongeBob's pants inflating]
• ? Vibes - Nicolas Carr ["Huh?"]
◦ He's Flying - Eban Schletter, Paul Tibbitt, Kent Osborne
• Bikini Bottom News Theme - Nicolas Carr [news on TV]
‣ Licence to Thrill - Robert Cornford [lighthouse light goes out]
‣ Screen Heroes (A) - Simon David Chamberlain [SpongeBob replaces it]
‣ Sword Fight - Sam Fonteyn ["Let's roll."]
• Steel Licks 7 - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob cleaning Krabs' garage]
‣ The Silver Blade - Ilona Sekacz ["Finally! Jellyfish Fields, here I come!"]
• You're Nice - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob doing favors for everyone]
‣ Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland [SpongeBob tries to escape]
• Sponge Monger - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [everyone chases SpongeBob]
‣ Lonely Violin - Dick Stephen Walter ["What have we done?"]
◦ All You Need Is Friends to Fly - Eban Schletter, Paul Tibbitt, Kent Osborne
• Steel Licks 15 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Did Patrick just...?"]
‣ 'Er Indoors - Johnny Hawksworth [Patchy lost the remote]
‣ Jarabe Tapatio A - Gerhart Frei, Carlos Periguez [mariachi band]
- This episode is available on the Lost at Sea, Absorbing Favorites, Complete 3rd Season, First 100 Episodes, The Great Outdoors, SpongeBob SquarePants Vol. 5, Beach Bob, Exposed!: The Ultimate Box Set, 2-Season TV Pack, The Ultimate SpongeBob Box Set, The SpongeBob SquarePants Collection, The SpongeBob SquarePants 8 Season DVD Collection, Complete Third Season, Orange Collection, From the Beginning, Part 2, The Third & Fourth Seasons, and The Best 200 Episodes Ever DVDs.
- This episode is also available on the Lost at Sea and The Sponge Who Could Fly VHS tapes.
This section is in need of cleanup in order to comply with Encyclopedia SpongeBobia's manual of style. Please help Encyclopedia SpongeBobia by making this section specific and short.
- This episode is the third and last half-hour special of season 3. The first is "Party Pooper Pants" and the second is "Ugh."
- However, this is the second half-hour special of season 3 in American airing order, after "Party Pooper Pants" in 2002 and before "Ugh" in 2004.
- This is the first episode for two things:
- The French Narrator saying "Will SpongeBob learn to fly?" and "Stay tuned!" is cut from all DVD releases since there are no commercials on the DVDs.
- In this episode, Lou is shown to be younger than he was in "Party Pooper Pants," which was produced and aired earlier.
- In the marathon leading up to the original airing of this episode, celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Coolio, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Love Hewitt guest starred alongside Patchy trying to find the lost episode.
- When Patchy flips to the sports channel, John Elway can be seen.
- SpongeBob does the following things to help the Bikini Bottomites:
- Saves Mrs. Puff's snail from a tree
- Helped Mr. Krabs reclaim his dime
- Saves Patrick from a mime
- Saves Plankton from kelp
- Relights the lighthouse
- Cleans out Mr. Krabs' garage
- Scratches Patrick's tummy
- Helps Larry pick a tie
- Cleans Squidward's bath
- Balances Mrs. Puff's checkbook
- Helps Plankton spread the sign of evil
- Untangles a hat fish's phone cords
- Does the purple cap fish's geometry
- Talks to Nancy's plants
- Rubs Dennis' scalp
- Other unseen tasks
- To date, this episode marks the last usage of the APM track "Dramatic Climax."
- When Fred says, "No, he owes us favors!," he is wearing exactly the same outfit as SpongeBob, minus the red tie. He is also purple, but he otherwise looks the same.
- This is the second episode where Fred wears the same clothes as SpongeBob. The first was "Squilliam Returns."
- Nancy Suzy Fish wears a magenta dress and headband in this episode, while they are a mustard yellow color in other episodes.
- Monroe Timmy wears a red and green propeller cap in this episode. He also wears a propeller hat in "Krabby Land," except that it is blue and yellow instead.
- Monroe Timmy is shorter in this episode than in most episodes.
- In the Hebrew version of this episode, "Joe Momma" is called "סתם אחד," which means "just one."
- SpongeBob's underwear looks a little bit different in this episode.
- The clown on TV in the Patchy the Pirate segment is the writer Kent Osborne.
- The man that appears in the treasure chest when Patchy was digging it up was portrayed by Stephen Hillenburg.
- In the storyboard for this episode, there is a scene where Don's Import Store & Delicatessen is simply called "Shop N Shop" and the owner says that no pirates are allowed.
- A similar name, "Shop O' Shop," is still briefly visible on the map when Patchy first unrolls it in the completed episode.
- Mrs. Puff's snail is similar to Squidward's snail, Snellie, from "The Great Snail Race."
- Excluding the Patchy the Pirate segments, this episode is only about 16 minutes long.
- This episode was used as the basis for the plot of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Sponge Who Could Fly Live Musical, which toured in Britain in 2009.
- The storyboard includes a deleted scene with Patchy ripping off a SpongeBob band-aid while he is disavowing his admiration for SpongeBob, although he is not seen putting it back on.
- "As Seen on TV" is the only season 3 episode to be sampled in the "Remembering SpongeBob" segment.
- This episode is often titled "The Lost Episode" on TV listings and in the credits of home video releases.
- The credits on the Lost at Sea DVD and the Absorbing Favorites DVD simply call it "Lost Episode," despite it being called "The Sponge Who Could Fly" everywhere else on the DVD.
- In the UK, this episode is titled "Lost Episode/The Sponge Who Could Fly" in the TV guide episode synopsis.
- All of Patchy's SpongeBob merchandise in his room is similar to real SpongeBob merchandise, except they show SpongeBob with large black pupils and a bow tie instead of his normal tie. He also wears a black work hat instead of a white one and Patrick has larger pupils. This is because displaying actual SpongeBob merchandise would be tantamount to advertising it, and advertising merchandise related to a children's television program within or during the same programming block as that program is forbidden by the FCC.
- According to the audio commentary found on the Lost at Sea DVD, Don, the former parking attendant at Nickelodeon Animation Studio, is the person who is standing at the front entrance at the beginning of this episode.
- During Monday Knight Slimetime and sometimes recent NickToons airings, the episode was cut to 10 minutes which is only the first half, due to time constraints because of an episode pairing.
- In this episode, Larry has black stripes on his back, while in other episodes, he does not. He also has white stripes on his back in "Neptune's Spatula."
- Some clips are featured in Remembering SpongeBob, "Help Wanted", "Reef Blower", "Tea at the Treedome", "Bubblestand", "Ripped Pants", "Naughty Nautical Neighbors", "Boating School", "Pizza Delivery", "Home Sweet Pineapple", "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy", "Nature Pants", "F.U.N.", "MuscleBob BuffPants", "The Chaperone", "Karate Choppers", "Valentine's Day", "The Paper", "Grandma's Kisses", "Band Geeks", and "As Seen on TV."
- In the Croatian dub, this episode's title is "Leteći Spužva Bob," which translates to "Flying SpongeBob."
- This is the last episode where Stephen Hillenburg voiced Potty before leaving the show. Paul Tibbitt would take over as Potty starting with "Friend or Foe." Hillenburg did not voice Potty even after he returned to the show around 2012 until his passing in 2018.
- When the announcer on Patchy's TV says, "And now, the real Lost Episode!," the screen displays the words "SpongeBob SquarePants Episode 118 The Real Lost Episode." This was the 118th SpongeBob segment to go into production.
- The title is a pun on The Boy Who Could Fly.
- SpongeBob's ideas for his flying machine allude to many other flying machines, such as the plane at Kitty Hawk, the bat suit from Batman, and a lawn chair with balloons.
- The lawn chair tied to the balloons is based on a true story. Larry Walters, later given the nickname "Lawnchair Larry," was a truck driver who made a makeshift aircraft out of 45 helium balloons and a lawn chair.
- The two balloons Spongebob ties onto a lounge chair so he can fly likely resemble the colors of the charcters Cosmo and Wanda from another Nickelodeon show The Fairly OddParents.
- SpongeBob is colloquially called the "Bird-Man of Bikini Bottom," a similar nickname to that bestowed upon Robert Stroud, the "Birdman of Alcatraz."
- Patchy admits to losing one of his eyes, but both of his eyes are intact.
- The egg that Potty drops on the remote disappears when the TV turns on.
- The SMPTE color bars appear after the walk cycle ends, then it cuts to a farther away shot showing the color bars on Patchy's TV screen. The version of the color bars in the second shot is noticeably different than the one used in the first shot.
- Assistant Director Andrew Harvey is credited twice.
- When the little SpongeBobs run around in a circle, one of them disappears for a frame.
- Patrick's legs are longer than usual when he rides a bike.
- When Fred speaks up, he is purple, but when he walks up to the cliff, he is brown.
- When SpongeBob is flying on the kite, he passes three fish, including Nancy. He later passes them again, after the kite crashes, even though he already passed them.
- When the jellyfish buzz while they start helping SpongeBob fly without his pants, the other jellyfish disappear.
- During the funeral of SpongeBob's inflatable pants, there are two Incidental 41's.
- In this episode, Incidental 7's clothes are magenta instead of yellow.