The episode starts with Squidward leaving his house and riding his bicycle to work. He rides past a tall tree, at the top of which is a small box where SpongeBob and Patrick are sitting and giggling profusely. They see Squidward below and talk to each other about this, beginning certain words with a "w" sound. Squidward approaches the base of the tree and asks what they are doing, and SpongeBob tells Squidward that he can't tell him because he is not a member of their club. Squidward mocks them, saying that he is more than qualified to join their club. SpongeBob tells Squidward he couldn't get in even if he tried. Squidward tells them that he is "a member of over 20 different exclusive clubs all across the sea bottom.", but SpongeBob and Patrick insist that he will not fit in. Enraged, Squidward tells them they know nothing of fitting in before he proceeds to climb the tree. SpongeBob and Patrick frantically tell Squidward to stop but he does not. Squidward crawls into their tiny box, and SpongeBob and Patrick explain that they literally meant that he wouldn't "fit in", and that he and Patrick have been stuck in the tree for three days. SpongeBob and Patrick begin Squidward's initiation into their "club", but Squidward stops them, and attempts to get out be pulling on a smaller tree. He manages to make the tree double over and is about to crawl out when the second tree snaps, launching them into the sky. They fly over a kelp forest, where a couple sees them and the man says "Make a wish, Honey."
The trio crash in a small clearing in a distant section of the kelp forest. SpongeBob and Patrick begin to jump and shout joyfully while Squidward panics at his situation of being lost and stuck with SpongeBob and Patrick. SpongeBob and Patrick try to comfort Squidward by telling him it could be worse, and that they will survive as a club and as long as they have the "magic conch shell", a Magic 8 ball-like device which SpongeBob and Patrick treat as prophetic and all-knowing. They believe the magic conch should never be questioned and should always be consulted before any action is taken. SpongeBob asks it what they must do to escape the kelp forest, and the conch says, "Nothing". SpongeBob and Patrick sit on the ground doing nothing, and Squidward is enraged at their stupidity. He announces that he intends to escape the forest and get back to sanity by himself, and walks away. As Squidward tries to find an exit, he becomes lost and afraid and eventually comes back to where SpongeBob and Patrick are.
Even more time passes, and by now, Squidward has dismantled the box in order to build a shelter, made a hat out of some dried plant, is sitting by a small campfire, holding an empty frying pan over the fire. A small bug scurries past, but Squidward catches it and proceeds to cook it. He taunts SpongeBob with his "food", saying that they could have sided with him and survived, but instead listened to a talking shell. Squdiward scoffs at that, but then, above the forest, a damaged plane is seen falling right out of the sky, and the pilots drop their load of picnic supplies and food to avoid crashing. The equipment lands around SpongeBob and Patrick, who emerge from their state of doing nothing and praise the magic conch. Squidward is extremely shocked and walks over to the two, who are devouring a table full of delicious food. Squidward says he was only kidding earlier and asks if he is still a member of the club, and SpongeBob tells him that he is still a member.
Squidward cannot decide what to choose, and forcibly follows SpongeBob's suggestion of asking the conch shell. But it keeps telling him he cannot have any of the food he asked for. Squidward becomes enraged and is about to go mad when a Park Ranger enters the clearing. Squidward tells him he has been stranded with SpongeBob, Patrick, and the magic conch shell for weeks, and his mention of the "magic conch shell" prompts the ranger who pulls out an identical conch. SpongeBob and Patrick are delighted to meet a "club member", and the ranger tells them that his conch advised him to look for them. The three club members praise the magic conch before asking it how to get out of the kelp forest. It tells them, "Nothing." Following the conch's advice, they do nothing and assume sitting positions on the ground. Squidward, completely dumbfounded, praises the magic conch and sits down as well, ending the episode.
- The kelp forest is featured in the Game Boy Advance version of SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman, as well as Battle for Bikini Bottom and "Truth or Square."
- Squidward breaks the fourth wall when he says "Why must every 11 minutes of my life be filled with misery?", in reference to an episode's length. This was also referenced in "Nature Pants," "Missing Identity," and "Planet of the Jellyfish."
- When SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward were being launched in the sky in their treehouse, there was a couple. The man said, "Make a wish, Honey," which meant that the man mistook the flying treehouse for a shooting star.
- This is the first episode where the closed captions are shown before the actual lines. Most subsequent episodes would continue this.
- This episode is loosely based on The Lord of the Flies.
- The Magic Conch Shell is likely a reference to the Magic 8 Ball. It may also be referring to the Conch from The Lord of the Flies.
- It is unknown how they got out of the forest.
- When Squidward laughs at his moron joke, his nose doesn't deflate like he does usually and when he walks into the forest.
- When Squidward says stuck in the forest with those two, it looks like Patrick and SpongeBob are holding hands.
- When the ranger arrives and shows his magic conch shell, the original conch disappears.
- At the beginning of the episode, the tree and the clubhouse are facing to the road, and there were many trees seen. But after SpongeBob and Patrick insults Squidward, the tree and the clubhouse is turned 90º to the right, and there are barely any trees shown. When Squidward climbs the tree, it is facing back to the road, but when Squidward tries to get out of the clubhouse, it rotated 90º to the right again.
- Also, when Squidward tries to get out of the clubhouse, there is an additional skinny, tall tree that Squidward grabs on. It didn't appear in any scene before Squidward climbs into the clubhouse.
- When Squidward rides on his bike he left his door open, but as soon as he tries to get back down the door is shut.
- The last time Squidward asked the Magic Conch Shell for food they zoom in and SpongeBob was holding it, but when they zoomed out Squidward was holding it again.
- It is unknown why Squidward did not just follow the path The Ranger made to home then stay with them.
- When Patrick pours ketchup on his mouth, his pupil closed instead of his eyelids closing. Also, when you can see Patrick eating a bone, the bottom of his eyelids are pink. This error also happen in "The Smoking Peanut."
- SpongeBob and Patrick warn Squidward that he wouldn't fit in the clubhouse. But in real-life, an octopus is capable of squeezing into a hole much smaller than himself, since they have no bones.
- In the detailed shot of Squidward holding the magic conch shell, his hand and arm are colored yellow instead of the normal blue/green.
Home video releases
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge Buddies
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Nautical Nonsense and Sponge Buddies
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Absorbing Favorites
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 3rd Season
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes
- SpongeBob SquarePants: It's a SpongeBob Christmas!