At the Krusty Krab, Sandals purchases an order of coral bits, and an alarm suddenly blares out. Squidward assures the customer that "It's something stupid," and Mr. Krabs bursts out of his office and starts to dance with the dollar in his hand to intense celebratory music. Mr. Krabs informs everyone that he is received his millionth dollar, which is every crab's goal in life. He kicks out all of the customers for "spoiling his moment", not even giving Sandals his coral bits, and tells SpongeBob and his friends that they are going on a trip to celebrate. Squidward asks if they are going to Fancy Springs, Pamper Island, or perhaps Bikini Bottom Folk Village, but Mr. Krabs states it is better than that.
It is then revealed that the three of them are going clam fishing on a cheap boat (funnily named the S.S. Cheapskate after its owner, Mr. Krabs) on a smelly lagoon, much to Squidward's disappointment. SpongeBob accidentally removes everything from the boat while he is casting his line, as well as Squidward's shirt and nose, which Mr. Krabs does not mind, until SpongeBob hooks onto the back of Mr. Krabs' pants, which had his one millionth dollar stitched on them, and rips it off. Once the dollar is set in the water, dramatic music begins playing, signaling an incoming clam attack, and SpongeBob begins reeling in the dollar as quickly as he can. Mr. Krabs locates the source of the dramatic music: a live-action orchestra playing behind a wooden door. Mr. Krabs yells and begs for them to stop, but to no avail. SpongeBob manages to reel it into the boat, and Mr. Krabs grabs the dollar. However, a blue-lipped clam jumps out of the water, grabs the dollar out of Mr. Krabs' claw, and falls back into the water. Mr. Krabs gravely cries over this. This continues until Squidward, out of annoyance, states they will help Mr. Krabs get his dollar back. Mr. Krabs is happy to hear and this and gives everyone supplies so that they can prepare themselves for catching the clam. Mr. Krabs then starts keeping a lookout for the clam.
"The Team," consisting of SpongeBob, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs, works for three days, but the clam does not come back. SpongeBob and Squidward have now become tired of waiting for the clam to come, so they attempt to make Mr. Krabs happy by giving him a dollar out of Squidward's wallet. It works at first, but after Mr. Krabs rubs the dollar on his butt like a towel, he figures out that it is not his millionth dollar. Mr. Krabs then nails a sandwich to a flagpole and states that will be the reward for the person who can get his dollar from the giant blue-lipped clam. He then tosses all the other sandwiches overboard to make it "the sandwich." Squidward does not care, saying that they have plenty more to eat, but he is interrupted when Mr. Krabs drops the whole fridge overboard. SpongeBob and Squidward now realize that Mr. Krabs has become insane, so Squidward whispers to SpongeBob that they should sneak over to the lifeboat quietly while Mr. Krabs is not looking. However, they run for their lives to the boat while screaming. Upon entering the lifeboat, Mr. Krabs is revealed to have been secretly inside. He then throws SpongeBob and Squidward out while they are tied together. Mr. Krabs is angry that his own crew would betray him so hooks them to his rod as live bait. Soon enough, the dramatic music begins playing again and this begins to freak them out. The blue-lipped clam begins swimming toward the boat. Soon enough, the clam opens its mouth and it is then revealed that the dollar is lying on its tongue. Mr. Krabs closes the sliding doors to stop the music causing the clam to stop moving and jumps onto the clam's tongue, grabs the dollar and dances with it. However, the doors open back up and the dramatic music returns, causing the clam to shut its mouth while Mr. Krabs is still in it. The clam then dives back into the water.
Thinking that Mr. Krabs is dead, SpongeBob and Squidward start crying (SpongeBob out of sadness from Mr. Krabs' "death," and Squidward out of sadness that Krabs left him tied to SpongeBob), until he is seen at the surface of the water with his dollar. Mr. Krabs reveals that he and the clam fought until they made a trade. SpongeBob asks what did he give the blue-lipped clam. Mr. Krabs hops onto the boat to reveal that he had given off much of his whole body to the clam, except his head and arm, though he claims that he gave away nothing important.
On the storyboard of this episode on the SpongeGuard on Duty DVD, after Mr. Krabs has the one millionth dollar at The Krusty Krab, he uses the restaurant's phone to call his parents Victor Krabs and Mrs. Krabs at the Bikini Bottom Graveyard to tell them about it. The latter is alive while the former is dead. This scene was deleted because it was cut for time or it was distasteful.
The references to the film include the title card, the title, the musical score, and three main characters on a boat chasing a larger than normal animal.
Mr. Krabs fills the role of Quint, who was portrayed by Robert Shaw in the movie.
SpongeBob fills the role of Martin Brody, who was portrayed by Roy Schieder.
Squidward fills the role of Matt Hooper, who was portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss.
The theme music which plays throughout the episode is similar to John William's original score.
The episode also features numerous references to Moby Dick, including Krabs' obsessive pursuit of the clam and nailing a sandwich to the mast of the ship.
When the curtains open in the Krusty Krab, it covers up the part of the wall where SpongeBob and Squidward work.
When Mr. Krabs is crying, there are puddles of tears. However, when he is done crying, the puddles disappear.
When SpongeBob says: "Yeah, and I have to go home and feed Gary.," he has a beard and hair. The next shot shows Gary eating the couch, but when it cuts back to the ship, SpongeBob's beard and hair disappear. However, Squidward takes his off and throws it on the ground before it shows Gary, showing that they were fake beards.
After SpongeBob hooks the flag, it is gone, however, while Mr. Krabs was telling SpongeBob he hooked his dollar, the flag reappears.
S.S. Cheapskate is referred to numerous times as a boat, so it should not be called, "S.S. Cheapskate" as "S.S." stands for "Sister Ship" and it is not a ship.
When Mr. Krabs was on the pole he had a beard and hair. However, when Spongebob and Squidward showed the fake dollar to him and he went down the pole he had no beard or hair.
On one airing, after Mr. Krabs says, "And don't bring anything on a boat that you ain't prepare to lose," his laughing animation freezes for one second.