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Tea at the Treedome

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"Tea at the Treedome"
SpongeBob meets Sandy.jpg
SpongeBob meeting Sandy
Season number: 1
Episode number: 3
Production code: 1c
First airing: May 1, 1999
Sister episode(s): "Help Wanted,"
"Reef Blower"
Writer(s): Peter Burns
Doug Lawrence
Paul Tibbitt
Storyboard: Paul Tibbitt
Mark O'Hare (artist)
Animator(s): Tom Yasumi
Edgar Larrazábal (formerly)
Title card
Tea at the Treedome title card.png

“I like you, SpongeBob. Why, we could be tighter than bark on a tree!”

"Tea at the Treedome" is the third segment of the first episode of season 1, and it is paired with "Help Wanted" and "Reef Blower." In this episode, SpongeBob meets and befriends a land squirrel named Sandy Cheeks.



SpongeBob is taking a walk through Jellyfish Fields by himself. After failing to catch a jellyfish, he hears fight. SpongeBob runs to the top of a hill and witnesses a squirrel in a space suit-like diving suit fighting a giant clam. SpongeBob checks his field guide and identifies the squirrel as a "land squirrel". SpongeBob hurries to the scene and uses karate to brawl the giant clam and defeat it.

The squirrel introduces herself to SpongeBob, informing him that her name is Sandy Cheeks. They quickly discover they both share a common interest: karate. She also explains that the helmet is used for her to breathe air, since she cannot survive without oxygen. After they depart as new friends, SpongeBob hurries to tell Patrick about his friend.

Not long after, Sandy and SpongeBob meet up for a meal at Sandy's treedome, which is closed off from the water and filled with air. Therefore, Sandy is not required to wear her suit. SpongeBob must wear a helmet filled with water since they cannot survive on oxygen. However, SpongeBob doesn't know this and nor does Sandy. SpongeBob struggles to keep healthy whilst he visits his friend. Patrick later arrives to remind SpongeBob that he should drink tea in a fancy fashion. Patrick, too, is unaware that the tree dome lacks water and is instead filled with oxygen. SpongeBob and Patrick begin to lose their ability to maintain health and shrivel up due to lack of water. Sandy realized their lack of water was why they shriveled up, so she fills two bowls with water and places it around their heads.



  • This was the first episode produced after the pilot in 1997 and the series being picked up for six half hours (twelve eleven minute segments) in Summer of 1998.[citation needed]
  • This episode is notable for being the first episode that Sandy Cheeks appears in.
    • In the pitch bible, she was originally planned to be a love interest for SpongeBob, but that changed very early on. Many 1999 articles of SpongeBob by Variety and New York Times mistook Sandy for a love interest.
  • At the end of the episode, SpongeBob and Patrick are wearing their water helmets with the opening facing upward. Most subsequent episodes show them wearing their helmets with the opening facing down.
Patrick in My Pretty Seahorse.png
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