- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Squidward Tentacles
- Debbie Rechid
- Harold "Bill" Reginald
- Eugene H. Krabs
- Sheldon J. Plankton
- Gary the Snail (mentioned)
- Perch Perkins
- Highway Speed Patrol
- Karen Plankton (cameo)
- Patrick Star
- Abigail Marge
- Orin J. Ruffy (debut)
- Conductor of the Oceanic Express (debut)
- Alternate-Universe Patrick
- Truck driver
- Jewel Triplets Gang (debut)
- Woman and baby
- Lady in teal (debut)
- Old Man Jenkins
- Nancy Suzy Fish
- Nathiel Waters
- Nat Peterson
- Taylor Fishbowl
- Shelly Fishbowl
- Tina Fran
- Jimmy Gus
- Brown Keystone Cop (debut)
- Green Keystone Cop (debut)
- Purple Keystone Cop (debut)
- Werewolf (debut)
- King Neptune (mentioned)
- Plankton on and in PQ (debut)
- Miss Rechid
- Bank Teller (debut)
- French Narrator
- SpongeBob's Grandson (debut)
SpongeBob goes into the Krusty Krab freezer to find that they have run out of Krabby Patties. He and Mr. Krabs try to make more, but cannot remember the recipe. Mr. Krabs gives SpongeBob the key to the vault in which the recipe is hidden, and he and Patrick board a train to the bank for the safety deposit box. Sometime during the ride, the key to the box is stolen and SpongeBob and Patrick must find the thief.After getting squished a couple of times, Plankton walks up to them and Patrick searches him, but finds him clean. The duo stops the train to find the suspect responsible for stealing the key. A nanny and her baby are searched, only to find a stolen jewel in the baby's diaper that was stolen by triplets who pretended to be the nanny and baby.
The next suspect, the butler, is now revealed to be a thief named Orin J. Ruffy, who stole $75,000 worth of ham sandwiches. SpongeBob cries hopelessly but soon finds Patrick having the key; in fact, he found it while he cleaned SpongeBob's shorts. They head back into the train and are on their way to the bank. Eventually, Plankton bats them out of a window and the best friends must chase the train. It is revealed that Plankton has the key now.
As SpongeBob morphs himself into a hang glider, he and Patrick fly back onto the train to pursue him. Once they return, SpongeBob and Patrick chase Plankton through the caboose, the coaches, the tender, and the engine before Plankton disconnects the coal tender, coaches, and caboose of the train from the engine, leaving SpongeBob and Patrick in the engine's cabin. As SpongeBob and Patrick try to stop the train, Patrick stupidly breaks the brake (of the train) causing the train to go out of control.
He makes several weird, futile attempts to stop the train, one of which is to put a heavy object on the tracks. This only causes the train to flip and move forward while some of the wheels go off the track. The two manage to bring all of the wheels back in place when they stop in front of a retirement home. Then, Patrick stupidly breaks the throttle, which he thought said "Break." Meanwhile, as Plankton is caught trying to steal the formula by Mr. Krabs, he still escapes with it, until the train comes into the bank and stops Plankton before he can leave. However, Plankton's plan fails again, while Mr. Krabs has to pay the damage to the bank with his bank account.
75 years later, Elderly SpongeBob finishes the story of the "Great Train Caper." His grandson responds by telling to keep quiet as he is in excitement over his video game, while SpongeBob simply smiles at him and goes to sleep.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Salty Squid Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, James King [title card]
‣ Zoom (d) - Dick De Benedictis [SpongeBob enters the freezer.]
‣ Evil Mind 4 - Dick De Benedictis [SpongeBob enters the freezer.]
‣ Dramatic Impact 6 - Ivor Slaney [SpongeBob screams]
‣ Dramatic Cue (e) - Ronald Hanmer ["We're all out of Krabby Patties, sir!"]
‣ Botany Bay - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [making more patties]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["What are you on about, boy?"]
‣ Botany Bay - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [S.C.A.B.S.]
‣ Dramatic Cue (b) - Ronald Hanmer [Plankton flies out of Krabs' safe on a rocket]
‣ Sneaking About - Phil Green ["Don't you have any respect for tradition?"]
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["I know!"]
‣ Sailor's Sting 12 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob solves Krabs' dilemma]
‣ Bikini Bottom News Theme - Nicolas Carr [news on TV]
‣ The Adventurers - Paul Lawler [Krabs sends the formula away]
‣ Danger Sign - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Plankton turns off the TV]
‣ Terror - Alan Braden [Plankton laughs evilly]
‣ Nude Sting - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob and Krabs realize they forgot to look at the formula]
‣ Steel Licks (d) - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs bangs his head against the wall]
‣ Against All Odds - Paul Lawler [Krabs tells SpongeBob where the formula is]
‣ Synopsis - Frank Harlow [the key to Krabs' heart]
‣ Hall of Fame 29 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Krabs gives SpongeBob the safe deposit box key]
‣ Zelle 501 - Gerhard Trede [Plankton listening]
‣ Puffing Along - Harry Bluestone ["The Oceanic Express."]
‣ Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [bus runs over Plankton]
‣ Locomotion - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["Your sleeping quarters."]
‣ Train Ride - Sidney Torch [Plankton on top of the bus]
‣ Steel Licks - Jeremy Wakefield [Plankton on a windshield]
‣ Train Ride - Sidney Torch [dining car]
‣ Drama Link (f) - Hubert Clifford ["The key!"]
‣ Imminent 1 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [SpongeBob accuses Plankton of stealing the key]
‣ Befuddled Gent - Phil Green [Patrick puts on rubber gloves]
‣ Beware the Ripper (c) - Richard Myhill [Patrick calls the cops]
‣ Desperate Situation - Phil Green [line of suspects]
‣ Cloak and Dagger [#69] - Phil Green ["...the nanny!"]
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["The key!"]
‣ International Law - Peter Yorke [diamond]
‣ Cocksure Capers - Phil Green ["I told you taking the train was a mistake."]
‣ Dramatic Bridge 1 - Phil Green ["If they didn't do it, that means the key was stolen by..."]
‣ Cloak and Dagger [#70] - Phil Green ["...the butler!"]
‣ Dramatic Bridge 1 - Phil Green ["You may not be a butler, but are you a werewolf?"]
‣ The Creature (b) - Gregor F. Narholz [Full moon]
‣ The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz [Guy turns into a werewolf]
‣ Tragic Bridge 2 - Phil Green ["You may have hoodwinked the sponge, but I ain't no pushover!"]
‣ Befuddled Gent - Phil Green [Patrick eating popcorn]
‣ Bubble Poppin' Boys - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["I don't believe either of you."]
‣ International Law - Peter Yorke [Orin J. Ruffy]
‣ Solo Steel - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob cries]
‣ Fanfare (b) - Nicolas Carr ["The key!"]
‣ Seaweed - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob and Patrick get back on the train]
‣ Dramatic Bridge 7 - Phil Green ["Me three."]
‣ Closing the Door - Nicolas Carr [Plankton closes the door]
‣ Train Ride - Sidney Torch [Plankton opens a window]
‣ Tragic Bridge 4 - Phil Green [Plankton kicks SpongeBob and Patrick out]
‣ Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield [they get up]
‣ Dramatic Bridge 4 - Phil Green ["Thanks for the key!"]
‣ Grass Skirt Chase - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob and Patrick run after the train]
‣ Mystery Murder [#60] - Phil Green ["Patrick, hop up on my back."]
‣ High Hazard - Philippe Pares [they jump off the cliff]
‣ The Intruder - Phil Green [they get back on the train]
‣ Panic Patrol - Kenny Graham [SpongeBob and Patrick chase Plankton]
‣ Rescue - Cecil Milner ["Over here, choo-choo heads!"]
‣ Tragic Bridge 3 - Phil Green [passengers complaining]
‣ Excited Chase 1 - Phil Green [SpongeBob and Patrick panicking]
‣ Sword Fight - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [SpongeBob trying to stop the train]
‣ Maui Beach - Hans Haider [rest home]
‣ Sword Fight - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["And that means..."]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Oh, yeah."]
‣ Sword Fight - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Patrick holds up a stop sign]
‣ Steel Link (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [Patrick selling lemonade]
‣ Sword Fight - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [train flips over]
‣ Maui Beach - Hans Haider ["There's a train behind you."]
‣ Sword Fight - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [train stops]
‣ Maui Beach - Hans Haider ["Hey!"]
‣ Runaway Train - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [throttle]
‣ Mission Improbable - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Plankton at the bank]
‣ Lite Conversation - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["Well, well."]
‣ Excited Chase 1 - Phil Green ["Checkmate, Krabs!"]
‣ Expectant Stab [#28] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [train crashes through the wall]
‣ Steel Licks (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [Plankton crushed]
‣ Sea Shanty in Minor Key - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton [giant hole in wall]
‣ Skipping to School - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [ending]
- As of August 19, 2016, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 7.1/10 based on 79 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 7.8/10 based on 4 votes.
- When this episode aired on November 11, 2010, it gained an audience of 6.6 million viewers and the most watched non-sports broadcast on cable for the week of November 14, and second overall only to a Monday Night Football game between the Steelers and the Bengals. It was the most viewed episode in a year after "Truth or Square."
- The original name for this episode was "Krabby Patty No More," as seen on some of the original character storyboards on Facebook.
- This episode is also known as "Mystery With a Twistery."
- On one of the original storyboards, Patrick says the same line "Don’t touch me, I’m sterile!" from the episode "Suds." Click here to take a look at the storyboard.
- This is said to be the first ever SpongeBob mystery even though "Patty Caper" was also a mystery. This may be why it says "the first ever SpongeBob mystery special" in a later commercial.
- In this episode, it is revealed that some of the Krabby Patty formula ingredients are flour, barnacle shavings, and either salt or turmeric (Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob could not agree which).
- This episode premiered first in Latin America and in Brazil, on October 14.
- There are 3 shorts for this episode. The episode can be downloaded on iTunes and comes with these shorts.
- There is a book based on this episode called The Great Train Mystery.
- There is also an online game based on this episode called The Great Patty Caper 2.
- In this episode, Perch Perkins reveals that the Realistic Fish Head's real name is "Elaine."
- The only time card shown is "75 Years Later," implying that SpongeBob will live to be at least 99 years old.
- Plankton is seen reading a book on mitosis, which is the process in which cells make copies of themselves.
- Sandy did not appear in this episode, but she appears in the short "What if the Mystery Ended This Way...?"
- Running gags: SpongeBob calling Orin J. Ruffy a butler and Patrick breaking the train levers.
- It seems that SpongeBob only suspects the people he met or ran into on the train.
- Commonly with mysteries, the butler does commit the crime but Orin J. Ruffy claims that he is not a butler.
- The process on how the formula went to Far-Out-Ville:
- A small safe truck.
- A big safe truck escorted by cops on motorcycles.
- A Bikini Bottom Movers truck.
- A bullet train with the moving truck on it.
- A helicopter takes the platform from the train to a big jet.
- The attempts of Patrick trying to stop the train are:
- Stop sign
- Lemonade Stand
- Putting a rock on the rails
- This is the first time Patrick is mistaken as luggage. The second will be "A SquarePants Family Vacation."
- When Plankton says "Oh, now they're on time!" it may be a reference to "One Coarse Meal" when he was waiting for the bus to hit him.
- This is the second time someone says the line "Cops! I need you!" In this episode, it was said by Patrick. The first time was in the episode "Banned in Bikini Bottom" where the line is said by Plankton.
- The title is very similar to that of "Patty Caper."
- This was the second special that aired on November 11, the first one was "Have You Seen This Snail?" in 2005.
- One of the reasons that SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs fought about which was the correct way to make the Krabby Patty may have been so that fans did not know which was the correct formula.
- At the end of the episode, it is evident that the "Shelly Superhighway" is still intact, therefore in this re-imagining of the future in Bikini Bottom, it is likely to be assumed that SpongeBob was somehow unable to stop the creation of the highway itself. This can possibly be viewed as an Alternate Timeline, as the events playout as the exact opposite of how it actually did happen in the episode "SpongeBob's Last Stand."
- This episode premiered seven years after Friends Forever was released and five years after "Have You Seen This Snail?" premiered.
- This episode premiered in Poland on Jon Hamm's 41st birthday.
- It is revealed that Patrick knows his letters, but still cannot read.
- The investigation for finding the suspect scene is a reference to Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, while the train that Spongebob and Patrick board, the Oceanic Express, is a pun on the real train, the Orient Express.
- S.C.A.B.S. stands for "Salt Comes After Barnacle Shavings." This is a possible spoof to P.E.M.D.A.S. (Parentheses Exponents Multiplication Division Addition Subtraction).
- The title is a reference to The Great Muppet Caper. Another reference to The Great Muppet Caper is at the beginning when Spongebob was repeatedly staggering “muh-muh-muh” with a facial expression similar to Beaker from the Muppets.
- The title is also a reference to The Simpsons episode title "The Great Money Caper."
- The part where the train engine leaves the rails and crashes into the bank without its tender was possibly referenced from the Thomas and Friends episode Gordon Takes a Tumble, where Gordon loses his tender and crashes through a barn after derailing.
- Mr. Krabs makes up the excuse that "[He's] late for a very important meeting," a reference to a song from the Disney animated film Alice in Wonderland.
- When the train is stopped and SpongeBob is questioning some of the suspects, he asks them "Where were you on the night of January 16th?" This is a reference to the courtroom drama play The Night of January 16th, where said question was asked to the witnesses.
- The last scene of this episode is inspired by the Arthur episode "The Curse of the Grebes" where Buster, who is a grandpa, tells his grand-kids the story about the Grebes winning again.
- The number of passenger cars keeps changing throughout the episode.
- When Patrick gets knocked over at the lemonade stand, his mouth is closed while he is talking.
- When SpongeBob and Patrick were chasing Plankton, they pass Nat Peterson who is asleep on the train, but when they call for help, Nat is at the Emergency station, even though he was supposedly on the train.
- When Mr. Krabs was banging his head on the wall, his lips do not move when he says "it."
- When the runaway train engine goes through the tunnel, it flips around when it comes out to the other side.
- When SpongeBob and Patrick look for Plankton in the train (before luggage was dumped on their heads), the people themselves change seats.
- When the Butler, who was later revealed to be Orin J. Ruffy, was first about to be blamed, a Full Moon showed up during the daytime. This isn't possible since a full moon can only be seen the day the Moon rises at sunset, and the whole episode took place long before sunset. It's likely this was over a day before the actual full moon.
- During the scene when the cops arrived after the train stopped, Lady in Teal was one of the suspects. She was not arrested or searched as the other two suspects were searched first and Plankton was found to be guilty but she disappears after the cops find the Triplets gang.
- At first Orin J. Ruffy is blue, but at the end, he is orange.
- When Plankton uncouples the tender from the engine, the steam engine still keeps moving. However, by uncoupling the tender, the steam train engine would come to a complete stop, as it would involve disconnecting the water pipes and vacuum brake pipes between the cabin and the tender, preventing water from coming to the boiler. Furthermore, tender engines do not store coal behind them: they store it in the tender.
- When Plankton knocks SpongeBob and Patrick out of the train, he is in the middle of the train, but when he says "Thanks for the key," Plankton is in the caboose.