"Missing Identity" is the first segment of the 58th episode of SpongeBob SquarePants (though in its original airing, it was shown as the second segment, due to its partner episode, "Plankton's Army", being heavily promoted as a "special" episode).
SpongeBob SquarePants is at a diner on a dark and weary morning, with rain is pouring down. A patron is solving a crossword puzzle, and realizes he had lost his pen. A waitress says he can borrow hers, and does. SpongeBob says he once lost something - his identity.
He recounts the events of last Monday. He wakes up, and throwing his blanket into the air, says "Good morning world, and all who inhabit it!" The blanket falls on him and SpongeBob, not being able to see, falls off his bed and his alarm clock falls on top of his head. He falls down the stairs and the alarm propels him into the window. He feeds Gary, and comments that he has been feeding Gary snail food for years and doesn't even know what it tastes like. He tastes a it, is revolted, and his disgust is sensed at the headquarters of the company that makes the snail food. He looks at the clock and realizes that he is late for work, and quickly gets changed and skips to work. While he was skipping to work, Patrick greets SpongeBob.
After telling the diner people about greeting Patrick he decides to skip to the part when he was about to serve.
Later, as SpongeBob serves food to a customer, the customer tells him that he should wear a name tag so that she can thank him properly. He indicates that he is indeed wearing a name tag, but then realizes that his name tag is missing. He panics, hyperventilates, and eventually faints.
When he wakes up, he asks Squidward what happened. Squidward tells him that he fainted because he lost his name tag, but assures him that his name tag is not that important and SpongeBob hyperventilates again. However, just as he says this, Mr. Krabs comes out of his office and informs them that there's a uniform inspection in one hour and anyone who fails has to wear a stinky boot. Squidward tells SpongeBob that he should retrace his steps.
SpongeBob repeats everything he did that morning several times, including his "horrific incident of terror" with the alarm clock and eating the snail food. SpongeBob repeats it many times because Patrick keeps failing to say "Hi" to him. After this doesn't help him find his name tag, Patrick asks him if he did anything else on his way to work, and SpongeBob says that he said hello to Old Man Jenkins, put an apple on Mr. Krabs' desk, and was thrown into a dumpster by two thugs. Patrick suggests looking in the dumpster, and they go searching there. Patrick finds SpongeBob's name tag on the back of his shirt, and when he alerts him to this and SpongeBob turns around, it seems to disappear and Patrick can't remember where it was. SpongeBob is confused, but when Patrick says "At least I don't wear my shirt backwards!," SpongeBob realizes that he had his name tag all along, and his shirt was just backwards. At the uniform inspection, however, Mr. Krabs smells SpongeBob and is disgusted by the stench of the dumpster, and seemingly suspends him from working at the Krusty Krab.
SpongeBob finishes telling his story, and thanks the waitress for listening, calling her "Betty". She says that her name isn't Betty, and that she just borrowed someone else's uniform while hers is getting cleaned. When SpongeBob learns this, he ends the episode doing a Jack Benny double-take.
Home video releases
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge for Hire
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge for Hire
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 3rd Season
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes
- The scene where the Snailpo executive feels a disturbance after SpongeBob tastes a can of Snailpo is a parody of the scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope where Obi-Wan Kenobi feels a disturbance after Alderaan is destroyed.
- This is one of the few times when the fourth wall is broken twice.
- After SpongeBob's story, the waitress tells him that he "managed to kill 11 minutes." This is a reference to the 11-minute length of a typical episode, which was also referenced in "Nature Pants", "Club SpongeBob", and "Planet of the Jellyfish".
- When Patrick bloops his line saying, "SpongeBoob" he then says, "Sorry people," as if a crew was filming the whole thing. This breaks the 4th wall.
- In two separate instances, when Patrick asks for a third clue and the waitess said that the nametag on her borrowed uniform wasn't hers, SpongBob places his left arm on his right elbow with his right hand on his chin, like Jack Benny did on his 1950's TV show.
- When SpongeBob imagines the bank robber entering the store with his name tag, the robber yells "ATTICA!," a reference to Dog Day Afternoon.
- In this episode, SpongeBob has a pet scallop like in "Help Wanted" and "Pineapple Fever."
- Snail-Po is a reference to Alpo dog food.
- The band that Patrick finds in the dumpster, "Stingray 5000" is a parody of Powerman 5000.
- In the Hebrew translation, when SpongeBob tries to spell Patrick the word "name-tag", it sounds wrong, since in Hebrew you say "tagit shem" - "tag of" and "name", and he said "name" and "tag of."
- In the closed captioning of the episode (done by WGBH's Media Access Group, nee The Caption Center), SpongeBob says that there are two words for Patrick getting a clue on what they are looking for, the first being "my", the second, "nametag"..
- SpongeBob makes a reference to the game 20 Questions in the dumpster scene.
- The name tag is based on the one from "Help Wanted". Both have only SpongeBob's first name and an anchor in the middle of the background.
- When SpongeBob yells to Squidward "POURQUOI?!", It means "Why" In French.
- It's revealed that Nat's last name is Peterson.
- The cash register is missing when Squidward is bragging about being a "genius."
- When SpongeBob turns around, showing his collar and name tag, the amount of filth on his shirt changes between scenes.
- Whenever SpongeBob turns around, his collar is not shown.
- When SpongeBob is trying to retrace his steps with Patrick, Squidward's house is not shown between SpongeBob's and Patrick's house.
- When SpongeBob is retracing his steps and it shows all of Conch Street and Patrick, there is a window on the top left corner of SpongeBob's house, where there never is.
- The caption misspells "name tag" as one word.
- SpongeBob wakes up saying "Good morning world and all who inhabit it." Then the blanket blinds him falling to the side of the bed and the foghorn clock falls onto him. He walks into door tripping down the stairs. The clock blows him into the window and he slides toward Gary, then sings about Gary's meal and taste the horrible Snail Po food.
- Patrick bloops his line and SpongeBob has to start all over.
- A character realizes that SpongeBob's name tag is missing and SpongeBob starts breathing heavily.