“Rock Bottom”: Exploring the Weirdest Episode of Spongebob

Spongebob Waiting for a Bus at Rock Bottom

Spongebob Waiting for a Bus at Rock Bottom

Oh, Spongebob, such an iconic word. 


Visions of the titular character giggling through sea-fields with his companions, the catchy theme-song and decade(s)-long lifespan of the show are all sure to come to mind when you mention the production or any of its respective episodes. 


As of this article, 248 episodes of Spongebob have aired to the public on broadcast programs such as Nickelodeon; being directed towards children, particularly my age range in youth, Spongebob is a household favorite that continues to survive and entertain to this very day. 


In its runtime, there have been plenty of amazing and memorable episodes of the show, as well as a few tie-in movies (one of which stars David Bowie…who’da thunk?). Though, there have also been a myriad of mystifyingly scary, confusing and downright disgusting episodes mixed in the bunch. Most of these are awful and are thus (hopefully) likely to be forgotten in good time, but there are a select few that are creatively distinguished, such as the current subject at hand. 


“Rock Bottom”, the 17th episode of season 1, begins with Spongebob and Patrick boarding a bus to leave Glove World, a fictional amusement park. Little do they know, they boarded the wrong bus and it ends up leading to a cliff that takes them to the titular “Rock Bottom”. This area is filled with many odd creatures that are foreign to Spongebob and Patrick, who are “Bikini Bottom” residents. As Spongebob looks around, Patrick boards the bus back to Bikini Bottom and leaves him behind. While waiting at the station, he loses the balloon he got from Glove World.


Spongebob attempts to catch a bus back, but they keep passing him. After numerous tries, he gives up and waits in a line at the bus station in order to ask for the hours. He tries to talk with the creature at the station, who blows raspberries in between words (as some sort of weird attempt at representing an accent or dialect), but ends up missing the final bus. Initially, he plans on waiting at the station but he hears raspberry sounds in the distance. He runs away in fear, but it turns out to be a creature he met previously. This anglerfish creature returns Spongebob’s lost balloon and blows it up so he could float back up to Bikini Bottom.

Spongebob Talking With an Underwater Friend

And in a mere moment, the episode is over, with all of that madness occurring in just under ten minutes. “Rock Bottom” was definitely a humorous episode, especially with Spongebob’s irritation constantly rising, but it is also quite frightening. The atmosphere throughout the episode was scary and extremely mysterious, but this was covered up with comedy. The perfect balance between these two aspects never leaves the viewer bored. This is undoubtedly one of the more memorable settings, besides Bikini Bottom, within the show. In a sense, then, this leads “Rock Bottom” to become one of the most entertaining and unique, if disturbing shows in the series.


There’s also this weird tiring feel to the episode that drags you back to the nearly-forgotten 3AM, cross-country travels in one’s youth. A similar feeling would be this awkward loneliness in the episode; it feels abandoned even though there’s plenty of colorful characters. 


[Hears a razz in the dark] Who’s there? [Razz] Well, that place will be there tomorrow. I guess I’d better keep walking. [Razz] Running. Better start running. Running. [Razz] Sprinting! Yes, I just gotta keep sprinting! [Runs into a wall] Sitting… sitting… bleeding.”


Any longtime Spongebob fan should be able to recognize this quote. I mean come on, it’s one of the most notable scenes in this whole episode. This moment of panic coming from Spongebob escalated the episode very quickly and was a good way to reach the resolution. The raspberries in the distance were funny to the viewer yet horrifying to Spongebob, adding to the irony of the episode.


Spongebob in of itself is hard to describe, let alone one of its weirdest if funniest episodes, so you should probably just check it out yourself. It’s really goofy looking back on it, yet it’s also strangely dark, especially for appearing so early in the show’s history (being the first season as noted). 


There’s a lot of good and bad when it comes to Spongebob, but it’s the ‘weird’ that really stands out; “Rock Bottom” is one of those episodes, and it’s worth a watch if you’ve the time to kick back with some friends and search for it on Amazon Prime, YouTube etc.