SpongeBob SquarePants

Imitation Krabs

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Episode Information
Imitation Krabs
Season №: 2
Episode №: 24b
Airdate: December 28, 2000
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 then says that it 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 in order to make SpongeBob reveal the formula to him. He tells Squidward (from the robot) he can have the whole day off to get rid of him, and tries to make SpongeBob, who is working in the supply room, tell him the secret formula. However, the real Mr. Krabs keeps on coming into the room they are in, so he has to hide and he emerges again when the real Mr. Krabs leaves. Eventually, Plankton throws a penny out the window and the real Mr. Krabs runs after it, thus completely distracting him. 

Afterwards, Plankton learns that for the secret recipe to be discussed, he must first do a ridiculously long and complicated ceremony that takes around 6.5 hours to accomplish. SpongeBob is about to give him a bottle with the recipe inside when the real Mr. Krabs comes into the kitchen right after the penny Plankton threw earlier. SpongeBob gives them both a quiz about the Krusty Krab, threatening to blast one of them with tartar sauce. The imitation Krabs gets all the answers to the quiz correctly (obviously via its technology) and Mr. Krabs somehow gets them all wrong. SpongeBob 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 a penny that he "dropped." The penny goes into its coin-operated self-destruct mechanism, blowing Plankton into the sky right after he makes a frantic run for the Chum Bucket with the secret formula bottle still in his possession. With the secret formula bottle rolling down torwards SpongeBob, he then realizes that it was Plankton and that he threw out the real Mr. Krabs. He saves the real Mr. Krabs, who is being attacked by a live-action hand with a plastic fork, and rolls him back into the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob apologizes to the real Mr. Krabs  and Mr. Krabs forgives him, but tells SpongeBob that the penny is coming out of his paycheck, with both of them laughing at the end, with SpongeBob asking if it's true.



 ) 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 - 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 - 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 (1) - 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 Footstep (a) - Paddy Kingsland [SpongeBob scrubbing floor]
  Bikini Bottom National Anthem - Bikini Bottom National Anthem
  Meatball, Meatball - Meatball, Meatball
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [secret handshake]
  Shock (g) - Dave Hewson ["But we did everything you said!"]
  House of Horror (1) - W. Merrick Farran ["This is it, Plankton."]
  Shock Horror (a) - Dick Stephen Walter [Krabs enters]
  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]



  • "Imitation Krabs" was ranked #77 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
  • As of August 11, 2015, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 9/10 based on 229 ratings by users. users give this episode a 9.1/10 based on 179 votes.


  • 6 1/2 Hours Later
  • This is the last episode to premiere in 2000.
  • 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 to let 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 Mexico on 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 imposer 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 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 Scott" 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 is the 23rd episode to mention the title within the episode. The first is "Help Wanted." The second is "Ripped Pants." The third is "Jellyfishing." The fourth is "Plankton!" The fifth is "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy." The sixth is "Pickles." The seventh is "Hall Monitor." The eighth is "Sandy's Rocket." The ninth is "Opposite Day." The tenth is "MuscleBob BuffPants." The 11th is "Employee of the Month." The 12th is "Scaredy Pants." The 13th is "Suds." The 14th is "Valentine's Day." The 15th is "The Paper." The 16th is "Arrgh!". The 17th is Rock Bottom. The 18th is "Texas." The 19th is "Hooky." The 20th is "Squid's Day Off." The 21st is "Big Pink Loser." The 22nd is "Bubble Buddy."
  • 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.

Cultural references

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


  • Squidward's mouth doesn't move when he says, "Already!"
  • 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.
  • 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!".


Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI The Motion Picture 156
"It is I, Kelp-Thing! Do what I do!"

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