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The Algae's Always Greener

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Episode Information [edit]
The Algae's Always Greener
Season №: 3
Episode №: 41a
Airdate: March 22, 2002
Running time: 11 minutes
Sister episode(s): "SpongeGuard on Duty"
Writer(s): Aaron Springer
C.H. Greenblatt
Merriwether Williams
Storyboard Artist(s): C.H. Greenblatt
Storyboard: Aaron Springer
Animation: Frank Weiss
Creative: Derek Drymon
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm"
Next: "SpongeGuard on Duty"
List of episodes

"The Algae's Always Greener" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, Mr. Krabs and Plankton switch lives.



After failing to steal the Krabby Patty Secret Formula once again, Plankton decides that he is tired of eating "holographic meatloaf" and wants to switch lives with Mr. Krabs, believing that he will have a better life. Plankton does so by using his machine he invented and wakes up in Mr. Krabs' office. He is now wearing his uniform, sees a name plate reading "Mr. Plankton" and a photo of him with Pearl. Plankton realizes that he has successfully teleported to a universe where he was successful, and has an alternate SpongeBob give him two Krabby Patties for "bun inspection." While Plankton is in his office, drooling over the Krabby Patties and celebrating his new found power and wealth, SpongeBob suddenly appears for his weekly performance review.

Plankton tells him that he's fine the way he is, but SpongeBob persists and demands that something be found wrong with him, Plankton relents and tells him he has been using too much sauce, which contrary to his insistence of being criticized, SpongeBob gets shocked and starts to make weird shuddering noises while twitching. To calm him down, Plankton promotes SpongeBob to "co-cashier," much to the disdain of that universe's Squidward, who enters his office to complain and wants his view to be a little less yellow, and is then made fry cook while Plankton replies, "I hope you like gray!" Before Plankton can get back to his Krabby Patties, an alternate Pearl, now his daughter, comes into the restaurant, asking for an "advance" on her allowance, to which he gives her a dollar, and she cries about getting so little.
Plankton !

Plankton Krabs

As Plankton is annoyed by all the constant interruptions and unsatisfied workers and customers, the universe's native Mr. Krabs, who now has the life of Plankton, and is completely naked, as Plankton normally does not wear clothes, appears, attempting to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula as Plankton would normally do, by snatching a Krabby Patty for himself. As Plankton stands confused, SpongeBob tries to shoot Mr. Krabs using a cannon that shoots out clothes and hits him with a bra. Mr. Krabs, knowing he has been defeated, throws the Krabby Patty to Plankton, who is still confused about what is going on.

As Mr. Krabs leaves, the people at the Krusty Krab give a "victory screech." Mr. Krabs tells Plankton that he will come back every day as he says repetitively, "And the next day, and the next day, and the next day-" Soon, when he leaves the Krusty Krab, he calls Plankton on a phone and repeats the lines to him over and over again, Plankton then screams, figuring that the wealthy life isn't worth it, and says goodbye to everyone of the alternate universe as he presses a button to send him home. The episode ends with him saying "Holographic Meatloaf. My favorite!" and Plankton eats happily.



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Hawaiian Islands - Harold Geller, Desmond Champ [title card]
  Like Strange - Kenny Graham [Plankton in ketchup bottle]
  High Speed Action - Laurie Johnson [alarm goes off]
  The Dreadnought Tea Clipper (b) - Tim Laycock, Robert Alexander White ["So, it was just another failed Krabby Patty theft attempt..."]
  High Speed Action - Laurie Johnson ["Curse you, Mr. Krabs!"]
  Wooden Bear - Gil Flat, Tony Tape, Florian Voelxen [holographic meatloaf]
  The Creature (b) - Gregor F. Narholz [life switcher]
  The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz [Plankton screaming]
  Lonely Stranger - Laurie Johnson [Plankton in Krabs' office]
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Two deluxe Krabby Patties!"]
  Tripping Upstairs - Brian Peters [SpongeBob brings patties to customer]
  Romance in Paris - Ib Glindemann ["All mine! It's finally all mine!"]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["SpongeBob?"]
  Bashful Eyes - Kapono Beamer [performance review]
  Romance in Paris - Ib Glindemann [Plankton kisses the patty]
  Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland ["There's got to be something I need to improve on!"]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob's upset]
  Glissando (a) - Skaila Kanga, Richard Myhill ["A promotion?!"]
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [SpongeBob standing next to Squidward]
  Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer ["Co-cashier?!"]
  Cocktail Lounge - Dick Stephen Walter ["So, have you two known each other long?"]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [Squidward in the kitchen]
  Rococo Rondo - Tedeusz Rozycki [Pearl appears]
  Tympup (a) - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy ["One dollar? You hate me!"]
  Dramatic Cue (b) - Ronald Hanmer [Pearl crying]
  Dramatic Cue (a) - Ronald Hanmer [shot of rotten Krabby Patty]
  Fates [#61.03] - Gregor F. Narholz ["I tried, Mr. Plankton. I really did."]
  The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz ["No, sir... he's back."]
  Sword Fight - Sam Fonteyn [Krabs revealed]
  Finger of Suspicion 2 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Krabs saying he'll be back]
  Cocktail Lounge - Dick Stephen Walter [ending]



  • As of August 11, 2015, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.6/10 based on 172 ratings by users.[1] users give this episode a 8.8/10 based on 140 votes.[2]


  • Paul Tibbitt has stated this is his favorite episode.
  • When Mr. Plankton's eye turns into a Krabby Patty, it is the same Krabby Patty from the "Krusty Krab Training Video."
  • This is one of the few episodes that is focused on Plankton.
  • This is the only episode of the series where the main universe SpongeBob SquarePants does not appear. However, his alternate universe counterpart does.
  • The Dutch title of this episode is "Hoe het is om meneer Krabs te zijn" meaning "How is it to be, Mr. Krabs?"
  • SpongeBob says "Soiled it!" 21 times and Mr. Krabs says "And the next day" 16 times.
  • The face that SpongeBob makes when Plankton says he uses too much sauce has become a popular YouTube meme for its bizarre nature. The "Oh my goodness! SQUIDWARD!" quote, the victory screech, and SpongeBob's "SOILED IT!" Asian-like face have also become Internet memes.
  • This is not the only episode to show an alternate-universe. Alternate-Universe SpongeBob has appeared in mirrors in five other episodes (these are "Something Smells," "Squid's Day Off," "Wet Painters," "Chimps Ahoy," and "Ghost Host"). An Alternate-Universe Squidward and Patrick have also appeared in episodes.
  • This episode's title card is similar to the title cards for the episodes "The Thing" and "Hide and Then What Happens?"
  • This is another instance in which Squidward's Krabby Patty cooking skills are shown to be subpar; a previous instance was in "Hooky."
  • This episode's plot is somewhat similar to the "Spy Buddies" plot, as Mr. Krabs and Plankton swap places for the day.
  • This episode marked the first time Plankton hides inside something on Old Man Jenkins' tray. He does this again in "Krabs à la Mode," where he hides inside Old Man Jenkins' drink.
  • The interaction between Pearl and Plankton in this episode is considered by some to make the premise of a later episode, "One Coarse Meal," unfeasible.
  • This episode premiered two years after "Texas" and "Walking Small" premiered.
  • This episode reveals that Plankton is Plankton's last name, not just his actual name.
  • This is one of the few episodes where Plankton actually succeeds in one of his evil plans, though he quickly decides to abandon it once he realizes that living Mr. Krabs' life would be too difficult for him.
  • In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Kod Drugoga je Uvijek Bolje" or "It's always better at the other one."

Cultural references

  • When Plankton says "Reunited, and it's going to feel so good!," it's a reference to the Peaches And Herb song called "Reunited." It can also be a reference to "it feels so good to reunite," a quote from Creed's 2001 hit "My Sacrifice," which was released several months before this episode aired.
  • When Mr. Plankton says: "What, did I say the secret word or something?" is a reference Pee-Wee's Playhouse.
  • The title "The Algae's Always Greener" is a pun of the saying "the grass is always greener," which refers to the way we tend to look at other people’s lives and other things that we don't have in general.
  • When Plankton says: "Rolling stones gather no algae.," it is a parody of the saying "Rolling pebbles gather no moss."
  • When SpongeBob is shooting Krabs with the clothes cannon, he references a rule common in the restaurant business: "no shirt, no shoes, no service."
  • When SpongeBob says "Knick-knack, the Patty's back!" it is most likely a reference to "knick-knack paddywhack" in the song, This Old Man.


  • When Plankton is sitting at his kitchen table and he has a can of soda on the table, between frames, the can shifts to the edge of the table right before he picks it up.
  • When "Mr. Plankton" is realizing he is in the Krusty Krab, he is wearing no clothes. However, when he finally realizes he is in Mr. Krabs' place, he is suddenly clothed.
  • When Plankton says, "I'm in the Krusty Krab," Tom walks by the window. When Plankton says, "The Krusty Krab is mine!" Tom walks by the window again.
  • When Plankton is kicked out, the pathway to the Krusty Krab is gone and the pathway to the Chum Bucket is shorter than usual.
  • When Krabs is leaving the Krusty Krab, some of the frames of his walk contain the legs of Mr. Krabs' pants.
  • When SpongeBob gives Plankton the phone, his belt lock is red instead of yellow.


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