"Free Samples" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season eight. In this episode, Mr. Krabs loses patrons because of Plankton, so he resorts to giving food away for free.
Plotting to ruin Mr. Krabs, Plankton comes up with a "new and original" idea: giving out free samples. However, Karen points out this idea is not "new and original" at all. Plankton gives out free Chum Sticks to eager Bikini Bottomites, but not long after they eat his chum, they become gravely ill. Plankton makes a run for it, and the sickened customers pursue him to the Chum Bucket, where he hides from the furious mob. Plankton angrily points out that the people would never do this to Mr. Krabs if he gave out free samples, and gets an idea.
He sells chumburgers under the name "Krabby Patties" and gives them out for free, with the intent of smearing the Krusty Krab's name. Sure enough, the customers get sick. When SpongeBob goes to the Krusty Krab, he sees an angry mob, mistaking it for a crowd of hungry and impatient customers. When he enters, he sees Mr. Krabs hiding behind a table, who explains that the customers have turned on him and the Krabby Patties. A brick is thrown through the window, wrapped in a piece of paper which says the Krabby Patties taste terrible. SpongeBob is shocked, and they realize they need to win their customers back. Mr. Krabs comes up with the idea to triple the prices, but SpongeBob says it is not a good idea, so Mr. Krabs decides to lower prices: by one cent. SpongeBob tells Mr. Krabs the only way to win them back is to give away free samples, which horrifies Mr. Krabs. When he realizes that no customers at all is worse than giving away free samples, he reluctantly agrees.
Soon after, SpongeBob went on the streets with a grill, ready to give away free Krabby Patties. Mr. Krabs is having second thoughts, but SpongeBob chains him to heavy concrete blocks, telling Mr. Krabs that it is for his own good. SpongeBob announces his free goods, but nobody answers. SpongeBob uses his backup plan: playing a calliope with Squidward acting as the monkey. People are attracted to the sounds of the calliope, and Squidward (in a monkey costume) dances to a woman and a baby in a stroller. When the baby throws a coin at Squidward's head, he rips off his costume and leaves. When the people learn that SpongeBob is giving out free Krabby Patties, they are hesitant. Mr. Krabs laughs that even free isn't good enough for them, then is horrified when he realizes how bad that is for business. He gives up and leaves. Plankton watches from afar, celebrating his accomplishment in ruining the Krusty Krab.
SpongeBob tries a different approach: selling "New" Krabby Patties. This does not work at first, until a customer's hunger gets the best of him and he realizes he'd rather take his chances than go hungry any longer. As soon as he takes a bite, he is instantly smitten with the Krabby Patty. He empties his pockets and asks how much it will get him. More people come to eat free samples, as well as paying extra, feeling the Krabby Patty is so good it shouldn't be free. When Plankton hears the commotion, he walks over, and gets upset. A truck dumps money on SpongeBob, as does a helicopter, which causes money to fly all around. One bill lands on Mr. Krabs' nose, and he runs to the stand. He leaps into the pile of money, right on top of Plankton and makes money angels. SpongeBob joins him, but they stop when they hear Plankton's high-pitched screams. Mr. Krabs asks what that noise was, and SpongeBob asks, "What noise?" They resume making money angels.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Unknown Track 3 - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [title card]
‣ Lite Conversation - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [opening]
‣ Shop-O-Rama - Nicolas Carr, Fabian Fernandez [Plankton giving free samples of chum]
‣ Tension Bits - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [everyone eats the chum]
‣ Mystery Murder [#58] - Phillip Green [everyone gets sick]
‣ Mystery Murder [#60] - Phillip Green ["I had no idea the chum was this rotten."]
‣ Dramatic Cue (e) - Ronald Hanmer ["Hey, he's making a run for it!"]
‣ Cartoon Sting 4 - Patrick enjoys the chum
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr [Plankton gets an idea]
‣ Shop-O-Rama - Nicolas Carr, Fabian Fernandez ["Free Krabby Patties!"]
‣ Unknown Track 33 - "Hey, wait a minute."
‣ Down in Davy Jones' Locker - Nicolas Carr ["That wasn't me."]
‣ Straight from Hell 10 - Gregor F. Narholz [everyone gets sick]
‣ The Great White (g) - Gregor F. Narholz [Guy falls over]
‣ Shoppers World - Harry Bluestone ["Krabby Patties, anyone?"]
‣ Horror Crash - Harry Lubin [everyone vomits]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr [angry mob outside Krusty Krab]
‣ Muscovite Rebellion - David Arnold, Paul Hart ["YOU!"]
‣ Creeping Up 29 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["What is going on out there?"]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (u) - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs lowers the price by one cent]
‣ Sailor's Sting 18 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs cries/"We simply give Krabby Patties away for fr..."]
‣ Cloak and Dagger [#70] - Phil Green ["Time? It's too soon!"]
‣ Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["I don't remember saying that."]
‣ Drama Link (d) - Hubert Clifford [Krabs screams/"NO!"]
‣ Horror Strike [#45] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["It's for your own good, Eugene."]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (i) - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs cries]
‣ Zelle 501 - Gerhard Trede ["I can't believe how well this is turning out!"]
‣ Unknown Track 16 - calliope music
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (d) - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward leaves]
‣ Zelle 501 - Gerhard Trede [Plankton laughs]
‣ Sailor's Sting 29 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["Not this time, boy."]
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob gets an idea]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (m) - Jeremy Wakefield ["Well, only one thing left to do now."]
‣ Botany Bay - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [five minutes later...]
‣ Variety Link (d) - Dick Stephen Walter ["Try them for free!"]
‣ Desperate Situation - Phil Green ["No! Wait!"]
‣ Expectant Stab [#28] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [everyone gasps]
‣ Fanfare (b) - Nicolas Carr ["This is the best thing I've ever put in my mouth!"]
‣ Unknown Track 3 - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [everyone enjoying Krabby Patties]
‣ Lite Conversation - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["Don't worry, Karen."]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr [a dollar lands on Plankton]
‣ Unknown Track 3 - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Plankton discovers SpongeBob winning money with the Krabby Patties.]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (p) - Jeremy Wakefield [Mr. Krabs sad]
‣ Unknown Track 1 - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [ending]
- As of November 1, 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 7.4/10/10 based on 0 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 7.7/10 based on 19 votes.
- It is revealed in this episode that Patrick is the only one who can handle eating Plankton's chum.
- The title card background for this episode is similar to the one used for "Plankton's Regular" and "Enemy In-Law," except this one is light blue.
- Nat has two different voices in this episode.
- Nazz-Mimi and Nat are a couple in this episode.
- This is the second episode in which Mr. Krabs gives away free Krabby Patties. The first was in "Patty Caper."
- This is the second episode in which Plankton wears a Krusty Krab employee hat, the first being "Chum Caverns."
- This is the third time SpongeBob calls Mr. Krabs by his first name, "Eugene." The first was in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and the second was in "Selling Out."
- This is one of the few episodes in which Plankton's nose is seen; it is shown when he smells the chum near the beginning of the episode.
- This marks Henry-Bart's biggest role in an episode.
- Throughout the whole episode, Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob never found out that this was Plankton's doings.
- This episode premiered seven years after The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was released in theaters in the Philippines, two years after "Rodeo Daze" premiered in Japan and SpongeBob, Soccer Star! was released.
- When Plankton calls his idea to give free samples "new and original" even though it clearly wasn't, it might be a reference to the unlicensed Nintendo Entertainment System game Action 52. The box claimed all 52 of its games were "new and original," even though most were just ripoffs of other games such as poorly programmed platformers.
- When Squidward dresses like a monkey, it may be a reference to Chuck E Cheese's original design.
- In one scene, Frank's shirt turns from red to pink.
- When SpongeBob ties Mr. Krabs to the cinder blocks, he can't move, but at the end of the episode, he can move with the cinder blocks tied to him.
- In one scene when Plankton was giving people free patties, Plankton's evil laugh was silent.