SpongeBob Squarepants Failed His Driving Test An Absurd Number Of Times

One has to hand it to SpongeBob SquarePants: he has an enviable amount of optimism. This may be an incredibly obvious thing to point out, but it has also proven meaningful. Millennials raised on the show were able to see a character actually imbue a measure of positivity they — unfortunately — were rarely seeing in the world around them. Even as many have come to see "SpongeBob Squarepants" in a new, more adult light, this seems to have been its most significant takeaway.

"Despite SpongeBob SquarePants the show being a show aimed at kids, SpongeBob the character is like most adults," wrote Collider's Rafael Motamayor. "He has a dead-end job working for a greedy and inconsiderate boss, and he has an annoying neighbor and co-worker who despises him, yet he is one of the most optimistic characters in pop culture."

Yes, SpongeBob manages to keep a smile on his face for the entirety of his time at the Krusty Krab. But as any true fan will tell you, the Krab is not where he feels his true calling lies. No, SpongeBob's dream is to obtain his boating license. Indeed, he's taken the boat-driving test many times, though has failed every single one. The actual number is a rather jaw-dropping one, and it's provided for us in one episode.

SpongeBob has failed his boat-driving test over a million times

We are given the exact number in Season 4's "Mrs. Puff, You're Fired," in which SpongeBob's beloved drivers' ed teacher Mrs. Puff is grilled by her superintendent Mr. Fitz. Mrs. Puff is informed that she cannot have her teaching certificate renewed to the large number of failing students in her class. When she responds that only SpongeBob has ever failed her boat-driving test, Fitz reminds Mrs. Puff that the number of failures SpongeBob has racked up totals 1,258,056. Whoa.

Though Mrs. Puff is indeed fired for her failure to teach SpongeBob, it doesn't take her replacement Sergeant Roderick — or Mr. Fitz — that long to realize that Mrs. Puff isn't the problem. Rather, it is that SpongeBob is unteachable. No matter how many times he fails, he always returns to Mrs. Puff's class with the same wide-eyed optimism and determination. At least until his anxiety gets the best of him at the beginning of every test. In the end, Mrs. Puff is rehired at the boating school. Unfortunately, this means she will have to keep teaching SpongeBob.