SpongeBob SquarePants

Imitation Krabs

on ESB
Add New Page
Comments33 Share
Arrow Left
Arrow Right
Episode Information [edit]
Imitation Krabs
Season №: 2
Episode №: 24b
Airdate: December 28, 2000
Running time: 11 minutes
Sister episode(s): "Dying for Pie"
Writer(s): Walt Dohrn
Paul Tibbitt
Doug Lawrence
Main: Walt Dohrn
Paul Tibbitt
Storyboard: Chris Headrick
Chuck Klein
Animation: Tom Yasumi
Creative: Derek Drymon
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "Dying for Pie"
Next: "Wormy"
List of episodes

"Imitation Krabs" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season two. In this episode, Plankton disguises himself as a robot version of Mr. Krabs.



Imitation krabs


A robotic fish controlled by Plankton and designed to look like a salesman walks into the Krusty Krab. He tells SpongeBob that he will win $1,000,000 if he tells him the Krabby Patty secret formula. SpongeBob quickly states in no uncertain terms that the formula can only be discussed with Mr. Krabs in private. Enraged, Plankton bursts out from the robot and threatens violence against SpongeBob if he does not reveal the secret formula, only to be tossed back to the Chum Bucket by Mr. Krabs.

Later, Plankton creates a robotic version of Mr. Krabs to coerce SpongeBob into revealing the formula to him. While Squidward doesn't fall for Plankton's robot, he convinces Squidward to take the whole day off as an executive order, and he happily leaves as SpongeBob arrives. Plankton tries to have SpongeBob, who is working in the supply room, tell him the secret formula. However, the real Mr. Krabs keeps bursting into the room, forcing the robot to hide before emerging again when the real Mr. Krabs exits. Eventually, Plankton tosses a penny out the window and the real Mr. Krabs runs after it, thus taking him out of the picture.

Plankton learns that for the secret recipe to be discussed, he must first complete a ridiculously long and complicated ceremony that runs about 6.5 hours. SpongeBob is finally about to give him a bottle with the recipe inside when a seemingly duplicate Mr. Krabs comes into the kitchen chasing the penny Plankton threw earlier. To discern the real Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob presents them both with a quiz about the Krusty Krab, threatening to blast the impostor with tartar sauce. As it turns out, Plankton knows more about the Krusty Krab than Mr. Krabs himself, who gets all the answers wrong. SpongeBob promptly squirts Mr. Krabs with tartar sauce and rolls him out the door.

SpongeBob presumes that the robotic Mr. Krabs is the real one, and gives him both the formula and the penny that he supposedly dropped. The penny goes into the robot's coin-operated self-destruct mechanism, sending Plankton into frantic dash for the Chum Bucket before blowing sky-high. As the secret formula bottle rolls back toward SpongeBob, he realizes his grave error. He then goes to save the real Mr. Krabs, under threat of a live-action hand with a plastic fork, and rolls him back into the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob apologizes to the real Mr. Krabs, who forgives him but remarks that the penny is coming out of his paycheck. Laughing together, SpongeBob asks, "Really?"



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  The Twin Sisters - Chelmsford Folk Band [title card]
  Wondrous Pastures - John Fox [opening]
  Night Butcher - Richard A. Harvey [Plankton inside a robot]
  Top Gameshow (b) - David Arnold, Paul Hart [one million dollars]
  Quiz Logo 1 - Dave Hewson [SpongeBob about to answer the question]
  Monster Bug (a) - Gregor F. Narholz ["Plankton!"/"Krabs!"]
  Facing the Challenge [#14.02] - Gregor F. Narholz ["I will not let you down!"]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill ["Could you let me down?"]
  West Side Rumble - Sam Spence [code twelve]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band [the most important rule]
  Captain Lenoe's - Michael Arthur, Colin Cater, Mick Graves, The Folk Players, Sarah Graves, Simon Ritchie ["Huh?"]
  Footsteps of Horror - W. Merrick Farran [robot Mr. Krabs]
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Well, whatever you say, Mr. Krabs!"]
  Enter the Villain - Chris Payne, Paul Rogers ["Oh, sweet domination, this is it!"]
  Duel in the Dust - Sam Spence [robot turns into a toaster]
  Dissonance - Dick Stephen Walter ["Day... OOOFFFFFF?!?!?!?!"]
  Action Cut (a) - Gregor F. Narholz ["Hey, Mr. Krabs, just taking out that garbage."]
  Frankenstein's Niece (d) - Gregor F. Narholz [garbage vaporized]
  Vibe Link (a) - Richard Myhill ["I don't know, Mr. Krabs... I don't know."]
  Monster (a) - Wolfgang Kafer [ordinary penny]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["That sound..."]
  Black Stockings - David Lindup [Krabs chases the penny]
  Shock (d) - Dave Hewson ["Nothing stands between me and that secret formula now!"]
  Heavy Footsteps (a) - Paddy Kingsland [SpongeBob scrubbing floor]
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [secret handshake]
  Shock (g) - Dave Hewson ["But we did everything you said!"]
  House of Horror (a) - W. Merrick Farran ["This is it, Plankton."]
  Shock Horror (a) - Dick Stephen Walter [Krabs breaches the kitchen's door]
  Games Played in the Dark - Richard A. Harvey ["How could you do this, SpongeBob?"]
  War of Nerves - John Scott [tartar sauce]
  Cold Sweat - John Scott [SpongeBob asking questions]
  Point of Departure (k) - Gregor F. Narholz ["Wait, SpongeBob!"]
  Death Trap - Gregor F. Narholz [robotic laughter]
  Hawaiian Link (b) - Richard Myhill ["HELP!!!!"]
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [ending]



  • As of August 14, 2016, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 9.3/10 based on 308 ratings by users.[1] users give this episode a 9.1/10 based on 181 votes.[2]
  • "Imitation Krabs" was ranked #77 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.


  • 6 1/2 Hours Later
  • This is the last episode to premiere in 2000. It is also the last episode (along with Dying For Pie) to air in the second Millennium, 20th century, and 1990s decade.
  • The episode title was a play on imitation crab, fake crab meat, which is used in salads and California rolls.
  • Bikini Bottom National Anthem is heard again in "Little Yellow Book."
  • Irony: Plankton could've just used his robot suit to get a Krabby Patty instead of asking SpongeBob what the formula was.
  • Mr. Krabs says that he does not know the meaning of "taking the day off." On "Bubble Buddy," SpongeBob had the day off. Mr. Krabs even insists on letting SpongeBob be excused from work until he can think straight again in "Pickles." In "Suds," "SquidBob TentaclePants," "Not Normal," and "Stuck in the Wringer," he lets SpongeBob (and Squidward in SquidBob TentaclePants) he gives employees the day off if they are not working well. Also, the Krusty Krab is closed in certain episodes.
  • Running Gags:
    • Every time Plankton's Robot Krabs says a lie, its engine backfires, and smoke can be seen from the exhaust pipe.
    • Plankton says, "Ouch" throughout.
  • The captions aren't in all caps, but when SpongeBob yells "Quiet!" to Robot Krabs and Mr. Krabs when they are bickering, the word "QUIET!" is in all caps.
  • The prices of the Krabby Patty as mentioned in the question below are the same prices used at McDonald's: $2.99 for burger, 99¢ on Wednesday.
  • When Robot Krabs says "gasp," it's different in Mexican Nickelodeon in Spanish he says "adivina?" which means "guess" in English.
  • This is the second time in the series that the face on a coin actually moves. The first time was in "Squid's Day Off," when the dime winks at Mr. Krabs. The penny gasps as Mr. Krabs returns and sees SpongeBob giving the secret recipe to Plankton in Robot Krabs.
  • Mr. Krabs is again accused of being a robot imposter in "Krab Borg."
  • The two episodes have the robot from this episode were reused:
    • "New Leaf": It was seen in a pile of Plankton's old experiments.
    • "Spy Buddies": When Mr. Krabs and Plankton change positions, the latter uses it to control again.
  • Mr. Krabs later gets eaten in the ending to "Wishing You Well."
  • Although "tartar sauce" is commonly used as a minced oath in the series, this is the first episode to actually show it.
  • The closed-captions were extensively modified for when SpongeBob told about the disclaimer for the Krabby Patty secret formula.
  • Plankton's 1,000,000 dollars was used as the background on "The Cent of Money" title card.
  • When the ten-second countdown for self-destruct sequence activates, Robot Krabs actually explodes after ten seconds.
  • In Indonesia, the narrator says, "2 1/2 Hours Later."
    • In Hebrew, the timecard saying "6 1/2 hours later" is written in words instead of numbers, and moreover, the word "half" is misspelled "חציא" instead of "חצי," similar to writing "halfe" instead of "half."
  • Considering SpongeBob asked questions that Mr. Krabs was unable to answer, it's possible he knows more about the Krusty Krab (and probably the rules) than his employer. However, since Mr. Krabs was the one who created the Krusty Krab, it's also possible he was under pressure and forgot the rules.
    • It should be noted that Mr. Krabs didn't necessarily answer the first two questions incorrectly, but rather Plankton simply answered them faster than he did.
  • Among the things in Mr. Krabs' storage room was chum sauce.
  • When inside The Krusty Krab heading over to the cash register, in the background Harold "Bill" Reginald is seen holding the top bun of his Krabby Patty in one hand, holding the rest of the patty in the other, and licking the patty, for some strange reason.
  • The head of Plankton's first robot is later seen in the console version of the video game Creature From the Krusty Krab during the minigame of the Supersized Patty level.
  • SpongeBob mentions the episode title by saying "So Long, Imitation Krabs Buh Bye!"
  • This episode takes place after "F.U.N." because Plankton knows what a Jellyfish is.
  • Plankton once again shouts, "I went to college!" He first used this quote in "Plankton!"
  • It's weird that Plankton builds a coin-operated self-destruct on his robot, then places it on the outside, rather than the inside, of the cockpit.
  • In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Fałszywy pan Krab" translating to "Fake Mr. Krabs."
    • In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Lažni Gospodin Klještić" translating to "Fake Mr. Krabs."
  • This episode confirms that Mr. Krabs patented the Krabby Patty Secret Formula at some point, with SpongeBob explicitly stating that duplication of the formula is punishable by law. With that in mind, even if Plankton did somehow manage to steal the formula, Mr. Krabs could just sue him for copyright infringement, rendering the theft pointless.
  • This episode takes place before "The Curse of Bikini Bottom" even though there is no reference to Robot Krabs in that episode. This is because that the part of that episode after the "Several Months Later" time card took place 3 months (or longer than that) after "Scaredy Pants".

Cultural references

  • Robot Krabs' transformation into a toaster is a reference to Transformers.


  • When Plankton jumps on SpongeBob's nose, it's longer. It could be because Plankton needed to have room to stand on.
  • When Mr. Krabs said "I don't know the meaning of them horrible words." the white part on his shirt is blue.
  • When Plankton goes into The Krusty Krab as the Mr. Krabs robot, for the few seconds the door is open, the Krusty Krab is dark.
  • When SpongeBob asks the question: "If we're discussing the secret formula on the third Wednesday in January, and it's not raining outside after we gargle with vanilla pudding, what do we do?" the word "vanilla" is excluded from the captions.
  • At the end, when SpongeBob is pushing Mr. Krabs from Hans, the sign "Special" is duplicated for a couple of seconds.
    • Also, the secret formula is missing from SpongeBob's hand, then later it appears again.
  • When Squidward is doing the inspection, there is a bag said "Kelp Meal," but in a later scene, the bag said "Keep Meal."
  • When SpongeBob inserted the coin into Robot Krabs' self-destruct slot, the robot went straight to the Chum Bucket and explodes. Then, the Secret Formula Bottle rolls from the burned restaurant to SpongeBob at the Krusty Krab. In reality, this would've been impossible to happen, because if a building explodes so badly that it barely leaves anything unharmed, the bottle should've been exploded as well.
  • When SpongeBob is about to take out the garbage, Plankton uses the robot's heat vision to disintegrate it. Later on, the garbage is still seen in the corner.
  • The weird part is when Plankton threw the penny to Mr. Krabs' office went the door was open. Later, Mr. Krabs' office door is closed when SpongeBob is at his office.
  • The things Plankton said when we see him in the cockpit of robot Mr. Krabs (when he's sort of audibly narrating his thoughts) should have spoken by robot Mr. Krabs as well.
  • At the beginning, SpongeBob's nose is slightly larger than usual.
  • In the scene after SpongeBob tells Mr. Krabs that he was going to ask a question, the clipper on SpongeBob's nose disappears.
  • At the part where Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob that if he regards the secret formula, the secret would be safe, The floor coloring is blue rather than green.
  • When Mr. Krabs accuses Imitation Krabs of being a robot, Imitation Krabs has Mr. Krabs's white shirt, which he does not have throughout the rest of the episode.
  • When SpongeBob says "If that was Plankton. Uh oh!" The secret formula gets slanted in his hand when he says "uh oh!"


Ravioli ravioli, give me the formuoli00:36

Ravioli ravioli, give me the formuoli


Wikipedia logo This page uses content from Wikipedia (originalauthors). Both Encyclopedia SpongeBobia and Wikipedia are licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported license.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Imitation Krabs

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.