During a game of tag between SpongeBob and Patrick, they accidentally go off a cliff into an underground cavern with a shipwreck called the "Mauna Loa". They then spend the day playing and exploring the ship, soon discovering a gigantic hoard of gold treasure. The next day, Mr. Krabs overhears Patrick repeatedly talking about the Mauna Loa, realizing that the two of them found the world's largest treasure hoard. Therefore, he follows them down to the ship, SpongeBob and Patrick discover him, and then they show him the hoard. However, the gold coins are actually tokens, and they find a ticket booth and a plastic captain and realize that it is simply an amusement park ride. The ship is old, and Mr. Krabs (being the cheapskate he is) refuses to pay the money to repair it properly, so it swings around like a tire swing.
Many citizens came to ride on it, even ignoring the required safety height, so more people can pay to ride it. SpongeBob and Patrick at first are sad that their hideout was discovered, but eagerly join in anyway. As expected, the old ship begins to lose bits of wood, and one of the splinters hits the speed switch, turning it to "beyond comprehension" mode. The ship then begins spinning out of control, and everybody becomes terrified except for SpongeBob and Patrick, who are having the time of their lives. Soon the ship breaks from its swing, shoots into the air, and plummets to the ground in smithereens, almost killing everybody. Everybody accuses Mr. Krabs for nearly killing them all, including their children. Mr. Krabs is arrested for operating a danger to public safety, and the hideout is condemned and boarded up. SpongeBob and Patrick are miserable that the Mauna Loa was destroyed, then leave to find another hideout, and accidentally fall into another pit, and into yet another underground cavern, containing the actual Mauna Loa. SpongeBob asks Patrick if he can keep a secret, to which Patrick replies "Nope".
When Squidward saw SpongeBob's model the Mauna Loa, he called him Michelangelo', referencing the artist famous for his statue of David. It is interesting that Squidward would call him that, considering in "Artist Unknown," SpongeBob once sculpted a statue of David in his art class.
In real life, Mauna Loa is actually the largest volcano in the world (in terms of volume). There was also an actual ship called the S.S. Mauna Loa, which sunk.
Though Mr. Krabs' token had no monetary value, Patrick bought something at the Krusty Krab with one.
This episode is the second time a cavern appears. The first was in "Chum Caverns."
This is the fifty-eighth episode with the title's name being a part of the story.
After the ship crashes, SpongeBob, and Patrick hug, when Patrick is talking, you can see all his teeth in his mouth for about a fraction of a second. However, in other episodes, Patrick appears to have only one tooth.
This is the first time Mr. Krabs calls something a "hunk of junk", making "The Masterpiece" the second.
Mr. Krabs only pronounces Mauna Loa two times correctly, when he discovers the token and when he goes into the Captain's Quarters.
In the previous episodes, like "Shell Shocked," Mr. Krabs was in the dumpster, and when Mr. Krabs found out that SpongeBob and Patrick knew about the Mauna Loa he said that he was looking for the wreck in dumpsters, which means Mr. Krabs could have been looking for the Mauna Loa that time.
The beginning of the episode is similar to the beginning of "Patrick SmartPants" except SpongeBob fell off a cliff but did not break his head and turn smart.
The word "Mauna" is in Filipino language, it means to "anticipate".
In this episode, Patrick does not understand (or care) about keeping secrets. However, in "The Secret Box," he not only understood keeping secrets, he was adamant about keeping the contents of his box a secret. He even admonished SpongeBob, telling him that if he showed him what was inside, and then it would not be a secret anymore.
When Patrick flings the token at SpongeBob, if one were to pause the screen image, the token clearly reads "No Monetary Value".