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 doesn't 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 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 Krab 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 tarter 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.
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 explodes as well.
The title of the episode, "Imitation Krabs", is a play on imitation crab, fake crab meat, used in salads and California rolls.
Irony: Plankton could've just used his robot suit to get a Krabby Patty instead of asking Spongebob what the formula was.
In this episode, Mr. Krabs says that he doesn't know the meaning of "taking the day off". However, in the episode "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". Also, 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 aren't working well. Also, the Krusty Krab is closed in certain episodes.
Running Gag: Every time Plankton's Robot Krabs says a lie, its engine backfires and smoke can be seen from the exhaust pipe. Also, Plankton says, "Ouch" throughout the episode.
With Closed Captions on, the episode captions are not in all caps, but when SpongeBob yells "Quiet!" to Plankton 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 Plankton says "gasp", it's different in Mexico on Nickelodeon in Spanish he says "adivina?"
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. In this episode, 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".
In "New Leaf", the Robot Krabs is seen again in a pile of Plankton's old experiments. Also, In "Spy Buddies", when Mr. Krabs and Plankton change positions, Plankton uses Robot Krabs again.
Although "tartar sauce" is commonly used as a minced oath in the series, this is the first episode to actually show the sauce. Tartar Sauce is a kind of sauce eaten with seafood.
The captions were extensively modified for when SpongeBob told about the disclaimer for the Krabby Patty secret formula.
When the ten second countdown for self destruct sequence activates, Robot Krabs actually explodes after ten seconds. Also, in Indonesian version of the TV series, the narrator says, "2 1/2 Hours Later".
This is the last episode to air in 2000.
In the Hebrew version, the card 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.
However, it should be noted that Mr. Krabs did not 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 is seen holding the top bun of his Krabby Patty in one hand, holding the rest of the patty in the other hand, 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.
Robot Krabs' transformation into a toaster may be a reference to Transformers.
Squidward's mouth does not move when he says "Already!"
When Plankton jumps on SpongeBob's nose, it's longer.
When Mr. Krabs says "I don't know the meaning of them horrible words." the white part on his shirt is blue.
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.
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 that says "Kelp Meal", but in a later scene, the bag says "Keep Meal".
When SpongeBob is about to take out the garbage, Plankton uses the robot's heat to disintegrate it. However, later on, the garbage is still seen in the corner.
The weird part is went Plankton throw the penny to Mr. Krabs' office went the door was open. the fish had his mouth open, later Mr. Krabs' office door is closed when SpongeBob walked to 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 also.
At the beginning of the episode, 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.