|Airdate||September 10, 1998|
|Previous||Johnny Quasar: Boy Genius|
Runaway Rocketboy! is the pilot episode of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. The short was going to start the series, but Nickelodeon liked it so much that they decided to make the film and the series was produced a couple of years later (in 2002 and 2003).
Jimmy runs away after his parents ground him for launching Carl off the roof. Little do his folks know that Jimmy has been abducted by aliens, who think he knows about earth's defense systems.
Jimmy decides to blast Carl off in outer space to test his rocket. Judy sees him on the roof, and promptly punishes him. Jimmy tries throwing a tantrum, but it doesn't work. After being grounded, Jimmy decides to run away from his home and Hugh decides to use reverse psychology to get Jimmy to change his mind. Jimmy goes to his clubhouse lab, the rug rolls up, roof opens and flies off in his rocket. In outer space, the Yokians are about to invade earth, track Jimmy and kidnap him. They order Jimmy to tell them about earth's defenses, which he knows nothing about. The aliens doubt Jimmy made the rocket he flew to their planet himself. The Yokians decide to travel to earth to enslave the human race. Jimmy threatens to crack King Goobot and his henchmen, Ooblar, who concede at that threat, and Jimmy rockets home. The chicken ships chase after Jimmy on Goobot's command. Jimmy sees an asteroid and head through it, with the Yokians in hot pursuit. During the chase, the chicken ships are banged up after smashing into each other, destroying the asteroid while Jimmy escapes. But Jimmy's rocket can't take the speed and burns up in the atmosphere, and crashes in front of a fire hydrant, and lands into the entryway where his parents greet him and Carl walks in to ask for using the toilet, only to be instantly late in using it already.
- Differences from the rest of the franchise:
- Jimmy wears a white and red striped shirt. Starting in the shorts, Jimmy started to wear a red atom symbol shirt. A photo of Jimmy in his striped shirt can be seen often in the show. His voice is also more high-pitched, scratchy, and child-like. This voice would continue to be used in the shorts and the film.
- Carl looks more like his dad. He also has irises and pupils.
- Goddard is voiced by another actor, Kim Saxon.
- Judy has darker hair.
- Hugh wears a blazer, which he would wear for a few shorts.
- Ooblar says "Oh my god!" in this episode.
- This is the first appearance of Jimmy Neutron, Goddard, Carl Wheezer, Judy Neutron, Hugh Neutron, King Goobot V and Ooblar.
- This episode is featured on the Confusion Fusion DVD, in the special features.
- The former mascot of DNA Productions in their logo is Helix, a cat-like creature with two tails making a DNA and wearing a white lab coat. This is the only Jimmy Neutron production to use that logo.
- The show on the TV at 4:37 is The O Show, another O Entertainment project.
- There's a picture of Jimmy in his striped shirt near his staircase that can be seen throughout the series.
- The school bus says "Retroville Middle School" on the side.
- A deleted shot shows where Jimmy says "Gotta blast!" while he and Goddard are in a rocket. This can be seen on some Jimmy Neutron shorts (except for the Calling All Aliens series of shorts) that aired on Nickelodeon before the film came out.
- At the 6:41 minute mark, Jimmy's rocket flies over a car and the driver is Johnny Quasar's dad. This was an inside reference to the pilot episode.
- S. Scott Bullock and Paul Greenberg, who voiced Goobot and Ooblar in this short, would later reprise their roles for the show and Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast.
- The pilot came out the same day as the PS1 game Spyro the Dragon.
- Some scenes from the pilot were recreated in the 2000 teaser trailer for the 2001 film.
- The pilot opening is the only intro to feature original animation. Future intros would focus on montages of clips from other episodes and the movie.