On King Neptune's 5,000th birthday, his wife, Queen Amphitrite calls the Krusty Krab and sets reservations to celebrate King Neptune's birthday there. Mr. Krabs sets up a crowd of watchers for some extra money after Shubie wanted to watch the royal family eat through the window, and SpongeBob cooks 5,000 Krabby Patties for King Neptune just as he arrives.
However, King Neptune is overly depressed about his son, Triton, when SpongeBob mentions him. Neptune shows everyone a movie that he made about his sad separation with Triton, locking him in a cage in the Island in the Sky until he learns to become a proper god like his father. To ease King Neptune's pain, SpongeBob plans to go to the Island in the Sky and release Triton from his shrunken cage (according to Neptune, the cage only shrinks 7%). Unfortunately, the lock on the cage was impossible for SpongeBob to undo. So, he then asks Patrick, his best friend, to unlock it.
Luckily, Patrick was able to unlock the cage. Triton comes out and offers the two a "ride" after turning the cage into a car, which SpongeBob and Patrick accept. But Triton pulls over when they were halfway there and tells SpongeBob and Patrick he doesn't need them anymore, knocking them out of the car with one whip of his tail. He immediately goes to Bikini Bottom and destroys it to have revenge on his father for locking him up. Then SpongeBob and Patrick return to Bikini Bottom and see the destruction. They both realize that Triton was locked up for a reason. They sneak into the Krusty Krab using the secret entrance, which led to inside the grill. SpongeBob tells Patrick to be very quiet.
Patrick agrees, but unfortunately throws the top of the grill backwards, making a loud clashing noise. The two peek from behind the cashier window and see that Triton has locked up Neptune and all the party goers in a cage. King Neptune apologizes to Triton and begs him to release everybody else and take him instead, but he ignores him. Then SpongeBob and Patrick unlock the cage staying hidden in the grill. Triton, in great dismay, says to his father that he was only kidding and tries to run... er... swim away. But an angry Neptune catches him by appearing in front of him. Triton tries to tell him that he didn't mean to lock him in a cage, but his father thought he has gone too far.
Neptune then saw what Triton did to Bikini Bottom and angrily asks him if he was responsible for it. Triton begs Neptune not to send him back to the cage. But Neptune, instead of punishing him, says that he just gave him the best 5,000th birthday present he has ever received. Triton learned to use his powers at long last, and that was what Neptune wanted all along. Neptune finally accepts Triton for who he is and the two hug with everyone cheering for them. Then, with Amphitrite, they return home. As they leave, Neptune says this was all because of SpongeBob. But everybody hears what he said and begins to hate SpongeBob. The episode ends with SpongeBob and Patrick running for their lives as the citizens of Bikini Bottom form a mob and chase them.
The premiere of "The Clash of Triton" drew 2.8 million kids 2-11, 2.0 million kids 6-11, 1.5 million teens 9-14 and 5.2 million total viewers age 2+ for Nickelodeon. SpongeBob.com had its most trafficked week in 2010 with 1.4 million unique visitors, 15.1 million page views, and 5.7 million total game sessions. Additionally, the new Nick Game of the Week based on the special generated 1.2 million game sessions.
"The Clash of Triton" received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Steve Earhart called the episode "a hilarious special that runs perfect with the six other quirky and crazy-funny episodes." Shannon Gosney of The Mommy-Files said that "you'll love this special[...]" Nancy Basile of the About.com said "it was funny enough and endearing enough to make it well worth watching." Ken Tucker of the Entertainment Weekly said "The values of SpongeBob remain intact. The script’s rapid-fire gags, the show's wildly bright color palette, and the series' resolute avoidance of heavy-handed messages combine to give Stephen Hillenburg's SpongeBob its adventurous energy." He added "[SpongeBob] SquarePants just doesn't seem to get old, does it?"
Maxie Zeus of Toon Zone said "the plot isn't even well structured, being slack and inefficient about getting from one situation to the next." He added "the whole special is like this: plot points clumsily rolled out to 'motivate' other plot points, which are themselves there only to motivate yet more plot points. But somehow, while they were distracted by all this wheezing machinery, they forgot to put any actual humor in." Paul Mavis of DVD Talk said "'The Clash of Triton' spends way too much time on exposition, setting up the short's premise, while skimping on what should have been a priority: the jokes."
In Serbia, Mermaid Man's name is Triton, so this episode sparked some confusion.
In this episode, the merfolk have four fingers on each hand but in the other episodes and in the movie, they are drawn with five fingers on each hand like all of the other humans on the show.
It is unknown why Neptune put Triton on the list if he didn't want Triton to be mentioned.
In the movie, Princess Mindy is King Neptune's daughter but she is not seen or referred to in this episode. Triton is stated to be Neptune's only child in this episode. This could possibly be explained by Squidward's quote in "Krusty Towers," Neptune the Fourteenth would be nice. as they may be different heirs of King Neptune. Amphitrite also doesn't appear in the movie nor was she referred to in any way. There is also the fact that Neptune looked completely different in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. However, since the movie takes place after the entire series, Mindy could've been born sometime after this episode and Amphitrite might have died between the events of the show and movie.
One of the monsters from the party is seen as a ghost in "Séance Shméance."
This episode was on Comcast's on demand service before it even aired on TV.
Since this aired on July 5, 2010, July 5 is probably his birthday, unless this took place on another time.
King Neptune now is 5,006.
This is the third time a secret entrance to The Krusty Krab was seen. The first two were "Wormy" and "Born to Be Wild."
This episode was originally called "Neptune's Party," and a title card for "Neptune's Party" was even made before they decided to change it to "The Clash of Triton." The title card can still be seen on the French, German (Title is not made of frosting), Romanian, Lithuanian, Asia and Polish title card.
When Triton is in the cage, he is much smaller than SpongeBob but when he gets out, he is much bigger.
Tina was seen being hit by a tire even though Triton's car tires are all intact after he crashes into the Krusty Krab.
This is King Neptune's third appearance in the series, not counting The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
This is one of the episodes that aired far away from a season that in the same season to be counted in that season but in a different year, such as "Gary Takes a Bath" and "Goo Goo Gas."
This is the only Season 6 episode to be aired in 2010, however it aired far away from that season, because it aired in the middle of Season 7 but still counts as a Season 6 episode, because Season 7 starts in 2009 through 2011; In the middle, Season 7 has 2010 episodes; The DVD for this episode contains Season 6 episodes; so it lets to finish Season 7.
Fred was the baseball coach when Triton was watching.
SpongeBob suggests to go out for "Triple Gooberry Sundaes," though in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie they are called "Triple Gooberberry Sunrises."
Neptune could have been amazed by Triton using his powers to lock Neptune.
This is the third time an indication to an odor to SpongeBob's feet. When he used his bare foot to pick the phone up, before Mr. Krabs took the phone, he appeared to have been smelling SpongeBob's foot.
In Clash of Triton Online Game, Triton turned Sandy, Squidward, Patrick and Mr. Krabs into mythological creatures (he probably knew about mythological creatures because his father taught him about them, and even when he was rebellious, he memorized them because his father made him).
This episode first aired in Serbia before USA and it was called "Нептунов Рођендан" ("Neptune's Birthday") and had the title card of Neptune's Party but when it aired in the USA the title card was changed to The Clash of Triton title card and it was named "Сукоб око Тритона" ("The Fight Over Triton").
In Greek mythology, Neptune's counterpart was Poseidon and Amphitrite is his consort. Triton was his son.
In Southeast Asia, this episode was premiered on December 25, 2010 which is also Christmas Day.
Triton probably didn't release his mother and the others and take Neptune instead because:
He knew they would try to defeat him (mostly his mother).
His mother or the monsters could've stopped Neptune from locking him in a cage or at least set him free, but they only agreed with Neptune, and Triton might've wanted revenge on them as well.
He just didn't seem to care about his family or anyone else.
This is the first and last episode where the directing team of Casey Alexander and Zeus Cervas were paired with solo-director Aaron Springer.
In this episode, there is a reference to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. This is when Patrick mentions a Triple Gooberberry Sunrise, which was eaten by him in the movie.
This episode was aired alongside various specials from this cartoon & The Fairly OddParents leading up to Nickelodeon's original special 100 Things to Do Before High School.
This episode is a parody of Clash of Titans.
This episode is similar to the Rocko's Modern Life episode, "Have No Son." In that episode, Rocko & Filburt are sent to find the Bighead's son, Ralph who they disowned because he's a cartoonist and try to get him there for their anniversary banquet. In this one, SpongeBob must reunite Neptune and Amphitrite with their son, Triton who they disowned because he made cures for mortal diseases in time for Neptune's birthday.
There were two scenes where the outline of Triton's eyebrows flickered bright orange for nearly a second. The first time was when he said, "Gosh!" The second time was when he said, "...but up in here..."
On this episode, Neptune acts as if he doesn't know SpongeBob, Mr. Krabs, and Patrick even though he met them in a previous episode.
Neptune said that it has been thousands of years passed since Triton asked how to play baseball (or in his case, the ball and stick game). However, baseball didn't exist that long ago, and the players were wearing modern day clothes rather than old fashioned ones. Apparently, Atlantis is a rapidly growing modernized society.
When Amphitrite was about to close the door of the carriage after Neptune and Triton reunited, the sea horse on her belt vanished.
As Triton opens the cage door, two pearls on his bracelet were the same color of his skin.
When SpongeBob and Patrick approached the Krusty Krab and SpongeBob pointed at the mail, neither Triton nor anyone else was seen inside.
When Triton was waving his hand to wave away SpongeBob's breath, it was a darker green than his skin for about a second.
In the third commercial of this episode, after SpongeBob says "Okay, Patrick, that's enough, thank you," the lights are turned off and Patrick says "What?" In the episode, he doesn't do this.
When Patrick receives the phone call from SpongeBob, he was holding a potato chip, but when he used his finger to turn off the phone, he is no longer holding it.
The audience wasn't in front of the Krusty Krab when Triton drives in.
Sadie had a higher voice that sounds similar to SpongeBob & the cop had a Harold voice.
SpongeBob was seen in a tuxedo halfway across the episode, but there were four scenes where the white sleeve of his regular clothes was seen.
When Neptune knocked the beaker out of Triton's hands, part of the outline of Triton's headband is the same color of the outline of his hair.
When Neptune opened the door to Triton's room, Triton's skin (between his vest and belt) turned red.
When Shubie wants to see King Neptune eat, and Mr. Krabs refuses to let her, but then he gets the idea of charging people to watch King Neptune eat, Shubie isn't there to see him eat, in the line nor the seats.