SpongeBob is at the Krusty Krab and is making a Krabby Patty. When he finishes making it, Mr. Krabs comes and tells him he is fired. Krabs says the reason why he is firing him is because he found out he can save a nickel if he cuts off SpongeBob's salary completely. Originally he wanted the latter to work for free, but he found out he cannot because it is illegal and he would lose his vendor's license. As a result, SpongeBob starts crying and floods the Krusty Krab with his tears. Squidward tells him he should come back "as a customer," which makes him cry again. Then, he congratulates Mr. Krabs for his decision and asks him who is going to make the patties. Krabs tells him that he was a "golden spatula fry cook" in the navy, so he is going to be the new chef.
SpongeBob then goes home, crying about his situation, and then he hears Patrick crying because he is doing so too. SpongeBob invites him to come inside, before telling him about his situation. Patrick tells him that being fired is the best gig he knows and tells SpongeBob he is going to come back the next day to tell him the steps of glorious unemployment. The next day, SpongeBob appears depressed, and Patrick tells him the 3 steps of glorious unemployment, or as Patrick likes to call it, "fun-employment." The steps are breakfast with Squidward, taking a mid-morning siesta, and free lunch with friends. First, they go to Squidward's house and step on his plants. Angered, Squidward throws food at them to go away. That is how they get their breakfast. Next, Patrick and SpongeBob stick themselves to the rock, but SpongeBob falls down. Then, they go to Sandy's Treedome, where she is doing a psychological test to determine how much stuff (she doesn't even know what this "stuff" is) they eat, for free.
Sandy then tells SpongeBob that he needs to get a job, and the latter tells Patrick that "unemployment" may be fun for him but he needs to get a job. He turns from a depressed sponge to a happy and joyful sponge again then he goes looking for a job. The first job SpongeBob arrives at is the Weenie Hut where he gets employed by Mr. Weiner. However, Weiner soon fires SpongeBob due to him making Weenie Patties instead of hot dogs. Next, SpongeBob goes to Pizza Piehole where he gets hired by Pizza Pete to make pizzas, but SpongeBob makes a Pizza Patty, much to Pizza Pete's disapproval, resulting in SpongeBob getting fired again. Next, SpongeBob goes to Taco Sombrero; he gets hired and makes a Burrito Patty, and Señor Taco asks a customer to taste it. Pilar volunteers, but when he takes a bite, the burrito meat gets into Billy and Frank's faces, so he gets fired once again. SpongeBob then cries an excuse to Señor Taco, but the latter just strictly fires him. Next and shortly, a crying SpongeBob goes to Wet Noodle, but he gets fired yet again, and Noodleman throws the Noodle Patty on SpongeBob, causing him to insult the restaurant.
SpongeBob is crying while going home. When he arrives home, Gary asks him for snail food, but he says he does not have any, so he makes a homemade can of snail food for Gary. SpongeBob tastes a bit of it, saying it tastes great. Gary eats the food, saying it is the best food he ever tasted. Patrick also eats the food.
Then, there is a knock on the door, which SpongeBob answers. The Hotdog Minions trap SpongeBob in a hot dog bun and take him away. It turns out Mr. Weiner kidnapped him and promotes him because of his idea of Weenie Patties. SpongeBob can't leave because he got chained until Pete comes along and frees him with Pizza Sauce, only for him to kidnap him with bread. Soon it is a war against all the owners of each restaurant until the Killer Krabby Patty defeats them and takes him back to the Krusty Krab, where angry customers are leaving because of Mr. Krabs' cooking. Krabs thanks Killer Krabby Patty, who is then revealed to be Squidward in disguise, for bringing SpongeBob back. Squidward admits that even though he hates SpongeBob, he hates the smell of burnt Krabby Patties even more. He begs SpongeBob to come back and become a fry cook again. Mr. Krabs apologizes to SpongeBob for firing him in the first place since the Krusty Krab is falling apart without him, and rehires SpongeBob. SpongeBob cleans the whole restaurant and gives Mr. Krabs and Squidward a new suit and dress. Mr. Krabs then says that to make up for the nickel he lost, he installed a pay toilet, which costs a nickel to use.
This episode was criticized and panned with negative reviews for its references to unemployment, especially from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which caused the media matters for America to take action, and prompted MSNBC's Al Sharpton to "stick up for poor Americans." Like how the creator despised "One Coarse Meal," he even hated this episode, and Nickelodeon never aired the episode as much after its premiere, but it can be found online and on DVD.
As of January 29, 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 5.3/10 based on 140 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a 4.5/10 based on 75 votes.
Τhis episode aired in Greece on July 3, 2013, before it aired in the USA.
A clip of this episode was shown on June 10, 2013. It contained footage with SpongeBob trying to get a job at a taco shop.
In this episode, Mr. Krabs does a terrible job making Krabby Patties, and all the customers hate them, even though in "Friend or Foe," a flashback shows he made delicious Krabby Patties. It's possible he forgot how to properly cook them over the years.
This is the last episode where all captions in an episode are in uppercase.
He also got fired in the episode "Sleepy Time," though it was only because SpongeBob ruined Mr. Krabs' dream.
Also in "Hooky", he was fired after not listening to Mr. Krabs.
He also got fired in "Dying for Pie", but he didn't necessarily not necessarily because Mr. Krabs hung the Help Wanted sign on the window because he thought SpongeBob's spot in the Krusty Krab will be empty soon.
SpongeBob is able to make the Snail-Po recipe. It is possible that he remembered the taste that he had from "Missing Identity."
This episode is a bit out of character for both Squidward and SpongeBob. SpongeBob makes a remark about Pizza Pete, saying "I hope his pepperoni falls off," and Squidward went out of his way to save SpongeBob (something he would most likely despise).
When Mr. Krabs says "golden spatula fry cook", this might be a reference to the Golden Spatula collectibles of the SpongeBob video games, most notably, Battle for Bikini Bottom, where SpongeBob has to collect golden spatulas to enter new levels. He might also be referencing the same spatula seen in "Plankton!."
SpongeBob gets his pink slip in the form of a shirt. When one receives a pink slip, it's on paper, and then they get fired.
In the same scene, SpongeBob also holds a can and an ax. The can means "Being Canned" (which means "Getting Fired"); the axe, and the way it falls on SpongeBob and slices him in half, may be supposed to be a visual pun on "Getting Axed" (which also means "Getting Fired").
When SpongeBob's corner grew back after he ate it, the scene skipped a part, paused, and then started again.
Mister Weiner knows where SpongeBob lives.
When SpongeBob is smelling (looking) at the paper, his buck teeth are together for a split second.
When SpongeBob says, "They're Weenie Patties!" and "But you just fired me," his Weenie Hut hat is replaced with his Krusty Krab hat.
When Mr. Weenie says, "My customers love your little sliders!," the Weenie Patty is smaller.
When SpongeBob is forced out of the Krusty Krab by Squidward, there are no tables inside.
When Patrick is disturbing Squidward when he is gardening, there are 3 markers for plants. When SpongeBob says, "Hey, Squidward, look at me, I'm fun-employed!", there's only one plant marker.
When SpongeBob wraps his arm around the custom Snailpo can while opening it, in the next scene when he gives it to Gary, his arm is wrapped around the can more.
The order wheel was not seen in the order window at the end of the episode.
When SpongeBob is feeding Gary the first time, he uses Slimy Can Snail food, but later he makes some Snailpo and even says before he makes the snail food, "I'll open up a can of Snailpo for you Gary."
When SpongeBob goes to the cupboard to get some snail food for Gary the first time, if one looks closely, one can see there are multiple cans inside, but when SpongeBob says "I'll open up a can of Snailpo for you" while opening the cupboard, it is empty.
In other episodes, when SpongeBob (or Squidward or anyone else in Bikini Bottom for that matter) got fired, they never got a pink slip, but in this episode, when SpongeBob got fired by Mr. Krabs, He got one, but when he got fired at Weenie Hut, Taco Sombrero, and Wet Noodle, he never had a pink slip from them either.
After SpongeBob got fired from the Wet Noodle, he said that he is been fired five times in one day. However, he was fired from the Krusty Krab a day ago, so he was actually fired four times in one day, it is possible that it might have been later that day.
When the Hotdog Minions were kidnapping SpongeBob out of his house, his house was a lot wider than usual.
Throughout SpongeBob's "funemployment", twice his coffee cup spilled, yet later, it is full again without SpongeBob going back to his house to refill his coffee mug.