"3 Squares and an Ed" is the 6th episode of Season 3 and the 58th episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy. In this episode, Edd and Eddy find out that Ed is currently grounded, so they try to bust him out.
Eddy is upstairs in Edd's house, where Edd is acting quite hyper and Eddy is bored. Fed up with Edd's excitement, Eddy demands to know what the big deal is and learns that Edd has applied lubricant to his laundry chute so that they can have a fun time riding down it. For safety reasons, he tries to offer Eddy a pillow to slide on, but an impatient Eddy instead just dives right in sans protection. Edd quickly follows him down his father's hole, and they end up in the basement, where Edd checks on his pet spider, Mildred. While Edd does this, a bored Eddy decides to check out what else is downstairs, and stumbles upon Edd's Cabinet of Failed Inventions and turns on the Opera-Matic. Edd quickly rushes over and turns it off, but Eddy then finds another one of Edd's inventions and lugs it out. Edd tries to dissuade his friend from messing around with it, but Eddy ignores him and accidentally turns on the Volcano Vacuum, which sucks Eddy's head inside. Edd chuckles, but an angry Eddy gets offended and proceeds to chase Edd all the way to Ed's house.
When they get to the backyard, however, Edd pulls up short, as a trip wire with several items is strung up. Eddy isn't as observant, and he runs into Edd, who falls, tripping the wire. Sarah and Jimmy instantly arrive on the scene dressed as prison guards and demand to know what they're doing. Edd and Eddy reveal they're there to see Ed, of course, and learn that he's been grounded for some unknown reason and that there are to be no visitors. Hearing this and seeing the tight security, Eddy seemingly gives up and both he and Edd leave.
Of course, Eddy won't give up on a friend if it involves an adventure and perhaps some mischief, and soon enough Jimmy is distracted by a leprechaun and leaves his post to chase it, with Sarah in hot pursuit with the intent to bring her friend and guard back. Eddy and Edd then peek around the corner of the house and look towards Ed's window. Edd expresses some doubts as to the viability of this venture, as there is something called the "parental ring" wherein all the parents contact each other if they find the others' spawns committing some wrongdoing, but Eddy makes him feel guilty about wanting to abandon Ed, and so Edd goes along with the plan despite his misgivings.
Ed is stuck in his room with no TV or other form of entertainment save for a cardboard box. He is taking his punishment poorly, as the box is soaked through with tears and there is a puddle of the briny liquid all around him. Suddenly, a drain in his floor rattles, and then expands with a miraculous device that allows Edd and Eddy to climb out. Ed has a joyful reunion with them, but when Eddy reveals his intent to get Ed out, Ed quickly wails and dives back into his box in order to sadly live out his punishment because he will be in even more trouble if Sarah finds out that Ed snuck out during his punishment. Eddy watches this display without a trace of mirth until he gets the idea to break Ed out so that even he won't know he's missing, and a short while later Ed is seen standing in his underclothes while a dummy composed of a vacuum cleaner, a pineapple, a book, and his clothes sits in his box. Eddy then stuffs Ed back down the drain and they head outside through the house's plumbing. When they get out of the house, Eddy congratulates Ed on his escape, only for Ed to get scared and run back in through the window to avoid getting in more trouble, which has apparently been unlocked this whole time. Edd and Eddy stare after him in disbelief until they hear Sarah coming, and leap in through the window after him. While the Eds were distracted, Sarah and Jimmy finished the leprechaun ruse, and have come back in order to resume guarding Ed. The Eds cower on a pipe on the ceiling of the basement as Sarah and Jimmy look in and, fooled by the dummy, yell at Ed to keep it down (not knowing that Ed tried to sneak out).
Eddy's next idea is that if they can't go out through the backyard, they'll just have to walk out the front door. To this end, he drags his friends out of Ed's room into the general basement area, keeping his hands over their mouths so they won't say something to blow their cover. He tells them that they'll only have to go up the stairs in order to get their freedom only to turn around and find that Ed's parents have somehow gotten rid of the stairs because Ed is grounded. Eddy then comes up with another idea as to how to get up the stairs, and to this end pulls out a giant safety pin, which he plunges into the basement concrete. He then proceeds to lay each of his friends back on it and use the pin to catapult them into the living room. Once they land, Eddy dances over to the front door and is about to throw it open when it gets thrown open right into their faces. While the Eds topple backwards into the living room, Sarah and Jimmy come in, Jimmy being towed in a wagon. Jimmy has suffered a job-related injury (a splinter from his wooden rifle) and has to have medical care. Thinking quickly, Eddy hauls his friends up the stairs just before Sarah can come in and see them. As the Eds hide behind the banister and sneak down the hall to shelter, Sarah tows Jimmy through the room below.
The Eds finally reach a shelter of sorts, which is actually Sarah's room. Eddy tries to leap out the window, but finds it closed; seeing this, Edd comes up with a small plan, which Eddy agrees to help with. While the Eds work on this new escape plan, Sarah and Jimmy go downstairs with Ed's dinner: buttered toast and gravy (Ed's favorite). When Sarah knocks on the door, Ed doesn't answer, so she looks inside and sees Ed reading a book. At first, she is irritated that Ed would ignore her, but soon another problem strikes her: Ed should not have a book with him. She quickly goes in and marches up to him, asking how he procured the book; when she touches him, the pineapple falls off of the vacuum cleaner, and Sarah realizes she's been tricked and Ed has snuck out. She lets out an angry yell that echoes throughout the house, scaring Ed and alerting Edd and Eddy to the fact that they've been found out.
While Jimmy runs outside to make sure they haven't yet escaped, Sarah runs upstairs, blasting her whistle all the way. Ed tries to remind his friends that he is grounded, but Eddy cuts him off, saying he's free as a bird. Sarah bursts through the barricaded door just in time to see the Eds leap from a window and take flight on the coattails of a kite. While she yells at them, Eddy taunts her, and it looks like they'll get away up until the kite handle runs out of string and the Eds fall to earth, landing on Jimmy. Ed pulls himself out of the hole and pukes out Eddy, who barfs out Edd, who throws up Jimmy. Sarah approaches the four and angrily tells Ed that she will be telling Mom. This reminds Edd of the so-called "parental ring", and he reminds Eddy of it as well, much to their combined dismay.
A while later, Edd is shown reading a book in his room, having apparently been grounded. A makeshift phone rings, and he answers to hear Eddy on the other end, who has also apparently been grounded. A short time later, Ed comes on, and Eddy starts to outline his plan for yet another great escape. Before Eddy can get very far, though, all three lines go taut and yank the Eds against their respective walls. This wall banging goes on repeatedly, because in the center of the cul-de-sac are Sarah and Jimmy, who have hooked an umbrella to the lines and are pulling down on it repeatedly in order to cause the Eds pain.
Edd: [to a sour-faced Eddy] "Try to contain yourself, Eddy. The adrenaline of irreverence can be quite overwhelming!" [in a hushed whisper] "We're soooo bad!"
Eddy: [after sliding down Edd's laundry chute] "Bottom floor: dryer lint, paint cans, lonely socks, and mildew!" Edd: [after sliding down his father's chute] "And arachnids." Eddy: "You have peanuts in your basement, Double D?" Edd: [correcting Eddy] "Spiders, Eddy. Basements make an excellent home to spiders and Mildred is in for her monthly inspection." [talking to his pet spider] "Aren't you, Mildred? Did you just wink at me? Yes, you did."
Eddy: "Jonny'll do anything for a handful of granola."
Jimmy: [recoiling in confusion and disgust at Ed's dinner] "Buttered toast with gravy? Do people eat this?"
Eddy: [seeing Ed panic] "Keep your shorts on." [Ed's shorts are around his ankles.] "No, seriously, keep your shorts on, Ed."
Ed: [looking at a life-sized model of himself in the box he was previously in] "Why is Ed sitting in a box?"
Eddy: "How does it feel to be back on the outside, Ed?" Ed: [gasping] "OUTSIDE ED?! But I am grounded, Eddy!" [Ed runs through his window, which apparently was unlocked.] Eddy: "So what?" [Eddy stops Ed before he can return to his room.] Edd: "Has that window been open this whole time?"
Eddy: "Now all we have to do is get you up the–" [He notices that the stairs are gone.] "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE STAIRS?!" Ed: "My parents took 'em down because I am grounded." Edd: [shocked] "That's disturbing."
Jimmy: [gleeful] "It's the end of rainbow, leprechaun! Hand over that pot of gold!" Jonny: [removing his fake beard] "Nope. Up to the fake rainbow, that's all you get for one handful, pal." Jimmy: [devastated] "My fantasy. Crushed by an imp!" Sarah: [grabbing Jimmy] "Back to your post!"
Ed: "Alley-oop!" [lands at the front door] Edd: "Gracious!" [lands at the front door] Eddy: "Geronimo!" [lands at the front door]
Eddy: [while launching a kite] "Houston, we have liftoff!"
Sarah: [to Ed] "Guess what, big brother? I'M TELLING MOM!" Edd: "Remember that parental ring, Eddy?" Eddy: "Oh great, now we're gonna get it."
Eddy: [talking to Edd via their makeshift communication system] "This stinks, I got grounded forever. Over." Edd: "Three days for me, Eddy. A little quality time with my ants and some–" Eddy: [interrupting Edd angrily] "Three days?! What makes you so special?"
On Edd's laundry chute, the spelling reads "Edward," with only two "D"s. Edd's real name is spelled "Eddward," with three Ds (thus the nickname "Double D" and the shortening of his name to "Edd").
When the hose spits out the Eds and Ed runs to the window, he has four toes, but all the characters normally have three toes.
When the Eds escape Ed's house using the kite, they clearly fly far away from the house. Strangely, when the kite runs out of thread, they land in Ed's front yard, as if they barely moved at all.
There is a coloring mistake towards the end of the episode. After the Eds and Jimmy emerge from Ed's mouth, a small bit of green fabric can be seen around Ed's neck, indicating he is wearing his trademark jacket. However, Ed was actually wearing a light blue Hawaiian shirt with a white floral print at the time. Moments later, the small bit of fabric is back to white.
The scene where the Eds use the giant safety pin to hop up the missing stairwell was used as a bump for the channel, when it still used the full "Cartoon Network" logo. The scene was extended to include the logo jumping in on the Eds after Eddy jumped out.
The Elevation Boots (seen in the Cabinet of Failed Inventions) were destroyed at the end of "A Pinch to Grow an Ed." In "In Like Ed," one of them was shown to be repaired. However, this episode shows them destroyed again, which implies that they were used at some point between "In Like Ed" and this episode.
Eddy's line "Houston, we have liftoff!" is a common line used when a space vehicle launches into outer space.
Edd created a decoy of Ed so Sarah and Jimmy wouldn't know that he was gone. Sarah later messed with the decoy, causing it to fall apart and alert them to Ed's escape. This could be an allusion to the 1979 film Escape From Alcatraz, where near the end of the film, a security guard discovers that three of the inmates had escaped after the head of one of their decoys falls off the bed.