|Season 1, Episode 8A|
|Original air date:||September 4, 1999|
|Written by:|| Sherm Cohen|
|Directed by:||Tom Yasumi|
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|"Jellyfish Jam"||"Squeaky Boots"|
Sandy's Rocket is the first segment of the eighth episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.
SpongeBob visits Sandy's treedome, and sees that Sandy had built a rocket ship. Sandy explains to him that she is going to the moon, and SpongeBob begs her to take him with her. Although she insists that he cannot come, SpongeBob's begging ultimately convinces her to let him come. That night, Patrick comes to SpongeBob's house and gives him some "Alien Repellent", which they sneak into Sandy's treedome to spray on the windows. Even though they agree to only spray the windows, Patrick inadvertently enters the rocket, and SpongeBob follows. After playing with the ship's various features, SpongeBob accidentally starts up the rocket, which loops over the moon and comes back to Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob and Patrick, convinced that they're on the Moon, think that the aliens are projecting their memories onto the environment to trick them. They begin catching everyone with Sandy's net guns (intended for harvesting moon rocks), believing they're aliens. Eventually, after capturing everyone in Bikini Bottom, including Sandy, who attempts to explain the truth to them, SpongeBob is convinced that Patrick is an alien. Patrick attempts to shoot him before he has a chance to capture him, but ends up shooting and capturing himself. SpongeBob starts the rocket again to return home, and when it reaches the moon, the rocket crashes on top of it. SpongeBob looks out the window and realizes his mistake. All the captured fish, who are being stored in the cargo hold of the ship, say "SpongeBob, we aliens would like a word with you." as the episode ends.
- The rocket Sandy has would never make it to low earth orbit let alone the moon in real life. But of course, its a cartoon, so many scientific elements do not apply. In order for a rocket (that is not supposed to blow something up) to get to space, it must be ether multi-staged (any rocket in the world's arsenal minus the now-decomissioned space shuttle), have a strap on solid/liquid rocket boosters (most space launchers have these stock, for example europe's ariane V [V= roman 5] or russias soyuz-u, or have a variant with them ex. delta IV(4) or atlas V) or the decommissioned and interesting stage and a half design (used on Atlas 1 this basically meant the Atlas 1's 2 outer engines and part of the rocket's structure fell off but the inner engine stays).another thing would be an external tank so far only used on the shuttle and a smaller version on military planes
- "Mooncation" may be a sequel to this episode.
- For most rockets only the last stage and its payload (A satellite, probe, Russian Soyuz-TMA-M, Chinese Shenzoue (SHEN-ZOO) or soon united states orion or spacex (also U.S.A.) dragon) make it to orbit the rest ends up on the ocean floor, in Russia's case the desert floor outside bikonour kazakhstan, or they burn up. some rocket stages automatically de-orbit themselves an example is russias proton-m. if the payload is an interplanetary craft the last stage ethier slams into the moon (lunar probes), gose into orbit around the sun (any non-russian mars craft) or crashes into the sun (anything else out of lunar orbit)
- This episode marks the first appearance of Flatts the Flounder, who would later appear in "Texas", and in "The Bully".
- Though the net around the "aliens" is solid with no holes, you still see their eyes through the net. You can also see Sandy's mouth moving as if she has no helmet.
- SpongeBob makes reference to "cowlicks" as evidence of aliens. This is most likely a homage to The Adventures of Pete & Pete.
- When SpongeBob and Patrick first become weightless in the rocket, a book floats by with "2001" written on its cover. This is a reference to Arthur C. Clark's novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- SpongeBob's belief that the "aliens" are projecting his and Patrick's memories of Bikini Bottom onto the lunar surface to put them into a false sense of security seems to be inspired from a short story, "The Third Expedition", from Ray Bradbury's book, the Martian Chronicles.
- When SpongeBob looks out at the window towards the moon, the view of Earth from the Moon looks almost exactly like the famed Apollo 8 photograph.
- During a Nickelodeon promotion in 1999, a set of scratch and sniff stickers were released at specified fast-food restaurants to be used with certain Nicktoons. One of them was used when Patrick squirts toothpaste in SpongeBob's peanut butter. The symbol that signaled the viewer to "sniff" at the bottom right part of the screen was accidentally filmed along with the episode, and not edited out until late 2002, almost three years after the scratch and sniff packs were put out of circulation.
- In one scene where Sandy is showing SpongeBob how the net gun works, she blows on the bubbles coming out of the gun, despite having her helmet on.
- A Lego SpongeBob SquarePants set is based on this episode, and was also the first Lego set to include Sandy as a minifigure.
- A chapter book based on this episode features an extended ending, in which SpongeBob releases Patrick and Sandy from the bags, and Sandy shoots SpongeBob as punishment before flying the rocket back to Bikini Bottom. However, in the actual episode, the rocket ran out of fuel when SpongeBob flew the rocket back up to space a second time, which caused it to crash onto the moon. The book also shows Plankton getting captured while stealing a Krabby Patty, also not seen in the TV version.
- This is the first time that Mr. Krabs appears away from the Krusty Krab. His pet worm, Mr. Doodles, would also reappear in "As Seen on TV".
- This is the first episode where Bikini Atoll is seen outside of the opening theme.
- While SpongeBob and Patrick are in the ship playing around, they play with toothpaste and peanut butter and Patrick squirts toothpaste through the peanut butter, and SpongeBob says "You've got your toothpaste in my peanut butter", a reference to the Reese's chocolate commercial.
- In this episode SpongeBob's alarm clock is at the left side at the bed, unlike in other episodes.
- When SpongeBob says "a present" his speech was cut off so it sounds like this: a prese-.
- Sandy mentions SpongeBob's incident with her whirlybird (helicopter), and then the camera shows a graveyard, indicating that SpongeBob accidentally killed people with her chopper.
- This is the first time Sandy wears a nightgown.
- The sounds heard when Patrick is playing "video games" are sound effects from the Game Boy version of Tetris.
- When the fish holding the parasol is netted, her eyes appear on its canopy. Her eyes should appear underneath the canopy, not on it.*In reality, it would take several days to arrive at the moon, not a few minutes or hours. In addition, it would be impossible for Sandy to reach the moon with only a jet pack.
- If the rocket ran out of fuel, it's unknown how everyone was able to return to Bikini Bottom.
- The first clue that would alert Spongebob that he's not on the moon would be the normal gravity. On the moon, the gravity is much lower. However, since he's had no experience, there would be no way for him to figure this out. He would later learn this when he went to the moon for real in Mooncation.
- Patrick and Spongebob should have figured out Sandy was not an alien, since she was landing from the sky. They should have figured out that it was the real Sandy, following them to the moon.
- Before throwing Sandy in the rocket to take to the moon, Patrick laughs, but his mouth does not move in the sync with the laugh.*In this episode, SpongeBob says "Peanut Butter". But in other episodes, he and the other characters say "Seanut Butter".*When SpongeBob asks Sandy what she is going to do on the moon, SpongeBob says "Are we gonna hunt aliens on the moon?", but the captions say "Will we hunt aliens on the moon?".
- Sandy could smell smoke from the rocket, even though it is outside her airtight treedome.
- When the rocket first circles the moon, the rocket is almost as big as the moon. But at the end of the episode when SpongeBob looks out the window, the moon is much bigger.
- SpongeBob and Patrick experience gravity turning on and off when leaving the water. But gravity wouldn't change until they left earth's atmosphere.
- When SpongeBob and Patrick are floating in the rocket and Patrick is trying to get right side up, SpongeBob laughs completely out of tune.