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Episode Title: "Idiot Box"

Episode Airing Number: 43

Episode Production Number: 44

Original Airdate: March 1, 2002

Season: 3

On DVD: "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Third Season," "Halloween"

On VHS: (none)

Aired With Episode: "Nasty Patty"

Running Time: 11:13

Storyboard Directors: Paul Tibbitt and Kent Osborne

Storyboard Artists: Carson Kugler, William Reiss and Mike Roth

Writers: Paul Tibbitt, Kent Osborne and Merriwether Williams

Animation Director: Andrew Overtoom

Creative Director: Derek Drymon

In Brief: Squidward discovers that SpongeBob and Patrick can make realistic noises in the box they play in, which they say are made from their imaginations. He can't believe them, so he tries to find out how they do it himself.

Story: Squidward sees that a mailman has brought a big package for SpongeBob. The package contains a large television, which SpongeBob doesn't want; he wants the huge box that came with the TV. SpongeBob explains to Squidward that he and Patrick don't need the television as long as they have imaginations to use, and lets Squidward keep the TV. After Squid takes the TV inside, he hears SpongeBob and Patrick playing an imaginary mountain climbing game inside the box, which features realistic-sounding avalanches and helicopters. He questions them on how they made the noises, and they tell him that they did it with imagination. Patrick tells him that because he has a lot of imagination, all he needs is a box.

Squidward looks through his closet for a good box to use for an imagination game. He finds a box that's too small. Then, he is peeved to hear a realistic cop chase coming from SpongeBob and Patrick's box that is supposedly made by "imagination." To relax, he tries watching the new TV, but all the shows on are about boxes. The sound of a rocket launch then comes from the box outside, and Squidward interrupts the game to ask where their tape recorder that he thinks is making the noises is. The boys tell him there is no recorder, and they let him in during a game to prove it. He listens to them play, and they make normal silly sounds of robots and pirates instead of actual, intense real ones. He leaves and comes up with a plan: after the two go to bed, he'll sneak into the box and find the button making the noises.

After waiting a long time until night when the boys are done with the game, Squidward finally has a chance to sneak into the imagination box and look for the button. He finds nothing. However, when he pretends to drive a race car inside the box, he finds out that he can really make car noises and "drive" the box. The reason is because a garbage truck is shipping the box he's in to a dump, which he doesn't know.

The next morning, SpongeBob and Patrick discover their box is missing. They decide to go visit Squidward, hoping he's not too "down-in-the-dumps" today.

Song: (none)


Squidward: *after seeing SpongeBob and Patrick dance happily outside* I didn't realize it was Happy-Hopping Moron Day.

SpongeBob: With imagination, I can be anything I want. A pirate. Arr. A football player. Hup.

Patrick: A starfish.

Squidward: Patrick, you're already a starfish.

Patrick: See Squidward, it works.

Squidward: *breaks open SpongeBob's box, where SpongeBob sits alone* Okay! Where is it?

Patrick: *pops out of hat box* Here I am.

Squidward: I've got better things to do than pace the floor, wondering how you two work this thing. *a moment later, Squidward paces the floor in his house* How do those two work that thing?


Tumble Coral The coral ball that blows down the deserted street in the beginning of this episode is an underwater version of tumbleweed.

Fish The mail truck has an image of a fish on the side. This is probably a take on the eagle that represents the U.S. Postal Service.

Color Change The TV remote has two red buttons at the top when it's seen the first time in this episode. When seen later, the two buttons are purple.

In Squidward's Closet Four boxes, shelves, a golf bag with two clubs, and an ice skate are seen in Squidward's closet.

Items Squidward Tosses Out of His Closet:

-A golf club

-A golf ball

-A yellow megaphone

-A pair of binoculars

-A wig holder with a black wig

Sombreros A sombrero is discovered in a box by Squidward in this episode. He later wears one in "The Camping Episode," but it does not look the same as the one in this episode. The one in "The Camping Episode" is larger, has a brown color (the one in this episode is yellow), has yellow and green beads hanging from the hat (not red like in this episode), and does not have the red stripe and green squiggle the hat in this episode has.

Color Change #2 SpongeBob's "imagination rainbows" have a minor color change in this episode. When seen earlier, the two stripes on top are purple and blue. Later, the stripe that was purple becomes purplish-pink and the blue stripe becomes purple.

Lit Room When SpongeBob walks back to his house after the long Robot Pirate Island game, one of the windows at his house are lit from a light.

As SpongeBob Reads His Book in Bed...

-Two candles on the bed poles light the room

-The clock appears to read 7:55

-Gary, himself, his bed, and the alarm stand have shadows that result from the lighting

-A short blue blanket with yellow flowers only covers his body up to his shoes

-The book he reads is green

Animation Error When the garbage truck is shown in front of Squidward's house two times, there are two strange tan shapes at the far right of the screen. They look like parts of paper that may have gotten mixed in with the animation.