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Boating School title card.jpg
Boating School
Episode No.: 4b
Airdate: 7.8.1999
Season: Season 1
Previous Episode: Naughty Nautical Neighbors
Next Episode: Pizza Delivery

"Boating School" is the eighth episode from Season 1.





SpongeBob is excited because his Mrs. Puff's Boating School's driving exam is today. He can't even remember how many times he took it, so Gary must remind him! If he passes it, he will get his license. First, he must pass the oral section of the exam. Having taken the exam thirty-seven times previously, SpongeBob is able to answer the questions before they are even asked. However, he panics in the boat and flunks the driving portion of the exam. Later that night, Patrick attempts to cheer SpongeBob up with a "surprise", but SpongeBob is too depressed to laugh. He explains his problem to Patrick and mentions that he needs someone to help him think straight during the exam. Patrick quickly devises a plan. He puts a walkie-talkie inside SpongeBob's head so that he can talk SpongeBob through the test, hiding the antenna with a cowboy hat.

The next day, SpongeBob goes back to take the test again. When asked to start the boat, he initially panics, but Patrick's instructions keep him calm. This is followed by a video montage of SpongeBob acting the exam, interspersed with shots of Patrick eating SpongeBob's food and reading his diary while helping him. Mrs. Puff is floored by his sudden improvement and jokingly suggests that SpongeBob’s success is due to an antenna under his hat through which "some guy miles away is giving him all the answers." SpongeBob (and Patrick) finds this hilarious, until Mrs. Puff concludes, "But that would be cheating!" Upon realizing that he has been cheating, SpongeBob goes into hysterics, driving wildly all over the course and sobbing while Mrs. Puff tries desperately to stop him. He crashes the boat and thus flunks the test yet another time. In the end as Mrs. Puff is about to go to the hospital, SpongeBob apologizes for letting him down, and says he'll try harder next semester.


  • SpongeBob's alarm clock makes a very different sound in this episode.
  • This is the first time Fred complains (after SpongeBob flunks twice on his boating tests) MY LEG!
  • This is the first appearance of Mrs. Puff (but not the Boating School Classroom).
  • The creator's name, Stephen Hillenburg, is not mentioned in the opening credits.
  • When Mrs. Puff says she is not ready, her brown spots form a square, but when she comes out of the boating school, the bottom middle dot moves up, and when SpongeBob passes the oral exam,the dot moves back to its original position, and yet again, before she starts the boat, the dot moves back up again.
  • Fred says "MY LEG!", even though he is not seen anywhere near the boating school, nor was he in the crowd watching.
  • When Mrs. Puff gets in the boat, there are only two holes in her helmet, but when Spongebob is driving the boat, there are three.
  • SpongeBob already made it to the finish line!! Mrs. Puff said "There's the finish line." and he is nearly an inch there. So before he complains that he is cheating, he made it to the finish! So why did he get sent back nearly 10 feet?
  • At the end of the episode, SpongeBob rides on his unicycle and says to Gary, "All right! Let's go surprise someone at the hospital!" It is possible that this person may be Mrs. Puff.
  • When SpongeBob's wearing his hat to cover a walkie-talkie antennae, it looks like the Arby's logo.
  • This is the first episode to have a montage (SpongeBob driving succesfully).