Mr. Krabs is sleeping in his money bath, then he smells something burning. SpongeBob then tells Mr. Krabs that it smells like Plankton with his new explosives. Plankton then explodes the Krusty Krab, while his machine caught SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs. Then, Pearl comes to the kitchen and scares Plankton, which makes him go back to the Chum Bucket.
He tells Karen about his fear of whales and she tells him there are no whales in the Chum Bucket. Then, Mr. Krabs, disguised as Pearl, scares Plankton. He enters in the Chum Bucket and Mr. Krabs appears saying that he wants the meat of Plankton. Plankton then runs away and has nightmares about an evil Pearl eating him and his cousins.
Plankton appears in the road, about to commit suicide by being run over by a bus, but SpongeBob talks him out of it and whispers to Plankton about Mr. Krabs' worst fear and tells Plankton that it is Mr. Krabs disguised as Pearl. Plankton decides to torment Mr. Krabs with a mime. Later, SpongeBob scares Plankton away with holographic whales to keep him from getting the formula. SpongeBob then releases Mr. Krabs and the mime continues to torment him, but considering Mr. Krabs' change in attitude towards the clown after Plankton fled, it is implied that Mr. Krabs was not afraid of the clown at all (and his fear earlier was a facade).
The original title of the episode was supposedly "Plankton Got Served."
This episode has a rather dark scene; Plankton tries to commit suicide by trying to get run over by a bus. This is one of the main reasons why this episode is hated.
On the SpongeBob SquarePants website, this episode is referred to as "One Course Meal."
This is the second time Mr. Krabs crosses the "Moral Event Horizon," an action by a villain that is so evil that it eliminates audience's sympathy for the villain and makes it clear that they are unrepentantly evil and will not be redeemed. Mr. Krabs's first act was in "Jellyfish Hunter" where he was killing hundreds of jellyfish for their jelly.
This episode furtherly expands Mr. Krabs' cruel and evil nature as he cruelly keeps scaring Plankton to the points of contemplating suicide and gets away with it.
Plankton is scared of whales in this episode. Although in earlier episodes, he has encountered Pearl without panicking. However, it is possible his ancestors were eaten after these episodes took place. Also, in one of the episodes, "The Algae's Always Greener," Plankton says "look at his daughter, she's as big as a whale." This indicates that he may not have realized that Pearl was a whale. In a later episode, he interacts with another whale in jail and is not scared of him. This could imply he concurred his fear.
"Coarse"is another term for "rough." Therefore, the title of the episode means, "One rough meal." However, it is clearly a play on words of a one course meal.
This episode shows that Plankton is a skilled bubble-blower, as he was able to make a bubble shield strong enough to withstand peas that SpongeBob was spitting at the speed of a bullet.
It is revealed that Plankton is afraid of whales and that Mr. Krabs has a secret fear of mimes. In "Krusty Krab Training Video," it is mentioned that Mr. Krabs was also afraid of robot overlords.
The main difference between Plankton's and Mr. Krabs' phobias is that Plankton's technically rational, while Mr. Krabs' is obviously irrational.
The transmutator was a scanner in "Plankton!" It is possible Plankton may have modified the scanner into a transmutator since then.
When Plankton asks SpongeBob to step on him, SpongeBob declines, saying it goes against his "good nature." However, SpongeBob has done things contradictory to his good nature, such as sabotaging Squidward to win "Employee of the Month," and trying to get Patrick arrested for speeding, out of jealousy in "Driven to Tears."
Karen has no compassion for Plankton over his intense fear of Pearl. Though, it could be argued that computers do not have feelings, she has shown emotions before (such as crying).
Just before Pearl comes into the kitchen, Plankton wonders what the smell is. SpongeBob says it smells like blubber, and Plankton panics. In "Spongicus," he says one of the ingredient to his chum is whale blubber, so it is unusual that he would not know what blubber smells like.
Pearl claims the Chum Bucket is "totally gross," meaning she must have gone inside of the restaurant before.
It is unlike SpongeBob to say "okay" and leave when Plankton refuses to let SpongeBob help him, except SpongeBob goes to Mr. Krabs for help which is not helping because Mr. Krabs is the reason for Plankton lying on the road waiting to die.
This also goes along with his infamous line: "I'm sorry, Plankton, but that flies in the face of my good nature," yet his behavior in episodes like "Boating Buddies," "Slide Whistle Stooges" and "Squid's Visit" makes this episode's statement infamous.
It is unknown how SpongeBob knew about Mr. Krabs' fear of mimes. This could be because Mr. Krabs trusts SpongeBob to not tell his secret fear.
The scene where Mr. Krabs puts peas into SpongeBob and he shoots them at Plankton, it is a reference to the Peashooter from the Plants vs. Zombies game series.
After "16 paranoia-filled days," Plankton is seen having grown a full head of long gray hair falling into his gray beard, as well as claws. Not only do these quickly disappear moments afterward, but the claws could bear a resemblance to Wolverine.
When Plankton has long white hair, long fingernails, and tissue boxes on his feet, it is a parody of Howard Hughes.
When Plankton was about to drop a bomb, Mr. Krabs was naked with a towel. When it exploded, he had clothes on.
When SpongeBob goes into Mr. Krabs' office after he erases a drawing of Plankton, his used paper and pencil are gone.
When the camera zooms out on Plankton, a box appears over his face.