SpongeBob and Patrick are having a rather fun day throughout Bikini Bottom when they decide to go to the Supermarket to buy their favorite ice cream. Mr. Krabs then walks by and grabs a box full of frozen food, which he marvels at because of its convenience. SpongeBob sees this and gets the idea to sell frozen Krabby Patties, speculating that people will love them because of how convenient they are. Mr. Krabs hears this and decides to carry out with this idea that he humorously claims to have had before SpongeBob said it.
Mr. Krabs, along with the help of SpongeBob and his daughter Pearl, create their own well-intentioned, albeit cheaply made, advertisement for the Frozen Krabby Patty, which he presents to the businessman, Don Grouper, who isn't particularly impressed with their "commercial." Being mindful of the immense potential that this idea has, he decides to help Mr. Krabs create an ad campaign to promote the Frozen Krabby patties. Grouper hypothesizes that to create a successful ad, they would need someone who could represent the target audience for this new product, which would make the commercial itself more relatable, and therefore memorable. The new face of Frozen Krabby Patties ends up being Patrick Star. After the first commercial airs, Grouper tells Mr. Krabs that he's is bound to make a lot of money, but he will make even more if he changes the recipe and adds some "filler," much to SpongeBob's dismay. He then gives Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob a tour of the factory where these new Patties are made. While touring, SpongeBob notices the workers using sand in the recipe for Patties, which Mr. Krabs tells him to ignore. Meanwhile, Mr. Krabs gets his first revenue check for the Frozen Krabby Patties, which puts him in a state of bliss. The new Patties are a monstrous success, and everyone seems to be enjoying them, despite some noticeable side effects.
Mr. Krabs fires SpongeBob from his Frycook job, and then immediately rehires him to work in the Krusty Krab museum, which documents the complete history of the Krusty Krab, complete with animatronic versions of the employees, and merchandise, which includes the Frozen Krabby Patties themselves. Mr. Krabs decides to celebrate his new fortune by eating one, but by the look on his face, the new Patty seems to taste disgusting. However, Mr. Krabs is in denial because of how well everything is going, and he decides to grin and bear it. Squidward is then fired by Mr. Krabs, but unlike SpongeBob, he doesn't get a job at the museum. Squidward takes solace in the fact that he can finally live out his dream of writing a novel. SpongeBob is noticeably disheartened, but he decides to make the best of this situation, while Mr. Krabs swims in a pool of coins.
Patrick becomes a major celebrity due to the success of the new commercials, but because of this, his friendship with SpongeBob seems to be slowly fading. SpongeBob visits Patrick in his lavish new home, but is ridiculed by the snooty new people that are associating themselves with him. SpongeBob tries to have some fun with his friend but Patrick is pulled away for an important photo shoot, looking as sad as SpongeBob. Also, Patrick's 400th commercial is coming up soon, which makes everyone else very excited.
SpongeBob heads back to the museum, where he surprisingly finds Squidward, who wasn't successful in his quest to become a writer and asks for a job at the museum. Later on, Plankton comes by and tries to take the formula, but he's confused when SpongeBob doesn't do anything to stop him. SpongeBob tells him that there is no point in stopping him because all the formulas in the restaurant are blank souvenirs. Plankton then asks for a Frozen Krabby Patty, which SpongeBob obliges to. SpongeBob tells Squidward that the patties aren't the same as before, and by eating one, he discovers that they're made of sand, which was "filler" that SpongeBob heard about before from Don Grouper. Filled with an overwhelming sense of determination, SpongeBob reads the real secret formula and cooks up a fresh one, and then runs over to Patrick. Patrick notices him, and they start running towards each other, with SpongeBob yelling to him that the new Frozen Krabby Patties are made of sand. SpongeBob then gives Patrick the one he just cooked, which rekindles his love for the sandwich. Patrick says he has a shareholders meeting in a few hours and doesn't know how he'll be able to talk positively about the new Krabby Patties because they taste so bad. SpongeBob tells Patrick that he has to listen to his heart, as well as his gut.
At the shareholders meeting, Grouper and Mr. Krabs are proud that the Frozen Krabby Patty ad campaign has been such a success, and are about to unveil their long-awaited, 400th commercial. But first, Patrick is called to make an opening speech, since he is the official mascot of the frozen sandwich. After a bit of inner conflict, Patrick reveals that the Patties are made of sand, which exposes Don Grouper as a fraud. Soon, everyone in the audience begins to violently vomit up sand, as well as everyone else in Bikini Bottom once the news is revealed to them.
A depressed Mr. Krabs wanders over to the Krusty Krab, where he's confused when he sees that it's filled with customers. He goes in the kitchen, where he sees SpongeBob and Patrick cooking the patties, and asks them why everyone is eating the patties when they know they're made of sand. SpongeBob says that the frozen patties were made of sand, but the one's they're eating now are the fresh, homemade patties that they love. Mr. Krabs asks SpongeBob how much him and Patrick are charging for the patties, which turns out to be nothing at all. Mr. Krabs then makes a deal with SpongeBob that he can be their boss again, and charge actual money for the patties. SpongeBob happily agrees, everything goes back to normal, and Mr. Krabs can continue running the Krusty Krab with a newfound appreciation for tradition, and the importance of quality food made with love.
Vincent Waller confirmed the episode on Twitter on October 9, 2015. The episode was originally scheduled to be released in the summer of 2016, but was pushed back to the winter season. Vincent Waller had also confirmed the episode would be of a 22 minute duration, a double-length episode.
The original titles/working titles of this episode were called "Factory Fresh" and "Goodbye, Krusty Krab."
This episode is available on the UK streaming service Now TV under its original title "Factory Fresh."
This episode aired on President's Day (the third Monday of February2017).
This is the only Season 9 episode to premiere in 2017.
There was a marathon of Krabby Patty themed episodes on February 18, 2017 and February 19, 2017 called "Krabby Patty Party," in honor of this episode. The marathon included never-before-seen shorts based upon this episode.
There was also, an international version called The Golden Krabby Patty Spectacular, as part of the year-long event "SpongeBob Gold."
This episode is the last episode aired from Season 9.
This episode aired in Australia and New Zealand four days after first being aired in the United States, on February 24, 2017. However, within Australia and New Zealand, it aired on February 25, 2017, due to time zone differences.
This episode aired in Canada as part of YTV's Golden Krabby Patty Spectacular and Brazil on February 25, 2017, five days after first being aired in the United States.
This is the first double-length episode in the post-sequel era, in both airing and production order.
This episode takes place before "Sweet and Sour Squid" because in that episode, Plankton says that Squidward worked at the Krusty Krab for 20 years. However, in this episode, Squidward states that he has been at the Krusty Krab for less than 17 years.
This episode is set after "Patty Hype" because the short "Krabby Patty Jingle" is set around the time of "Goodbye, Krabby Patty?" and that short contains a reference to "Patty Hype."
This is the first SpongeBob episode where a smartphone is seen in production order. In airing order, "Whirly Brains" had a smartphone first.
Mr. Krabs swimming in the pool of coins is an homage to Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales.
One of the paintings in Patrick's new home is a parody of The Scream.
The 400th Krusty Krab commercial is a reference to this episode's number as a segment, in the entire series.
The sign at the factory says "Day without an accident." However, when the number changes from 1 to 0, it does not change to "Days without an accident," creating a grammar error.
When the Krusty Krab Museum was first established, the Plankton robot says " Ow. Curses. Foiled again." Later, he only says "Curses. Foiled again."
The robot Mr. Krabs moves his body at the beginning. Later, only his arms move.
The Squidward robot changes position throughout the episode.