- Squidward Tentacles
- Medley Fishbowl (blue torso, red shorts)
- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Live-action orchestra (debut)
- Eugene H. Krabs
- Fred (cameo)
- Abigail Marge
- Jennifer Millie
- Monroe Timmy
- Peterson Nat Tucker (cameo)
- Nathiel Waters
- Thaddeus (cameo)
- Shelly Fishbowl
- Vera Fishbowl
- Small Clams
- Old Bluelip (debut)
- Gary the Snail (cameo)
- Victor Krabs (debut; deleted scene)
At the Krusty Krab, Sandals is deciding what to order. He decides to purchase an order of coral bits for one dollar, then an alarm suddenly blares out. Squidward assures the customer that "It's something stupid," and Mr. Krabs bursts out of his office and starts to dance with the recently obtained dollar in his hand to intense celebratory music. Mr. Krabs informs everyone that he has received his millionth dollar, which is every crab's goal in life. He kicks out all of the customers for "spoiling his moment", not even giving Sandals his coral bits, and tells SpongeBob and Squidward that they are going on a trip to celebrate. Squidward asks if they are going to Fancy Springs, Pamper Island, or perhaps Bikini Bottom Folk Village, but Mr. Krabs states it is better than that.
It is then revealed that the three of them are going clam fishing on a cheap boat (funnily named the S.S. Cheapskate after its owner, Mr. Krabs) on a smelly lagoon, much to Squidward's disappointment. SpongeBob accidentally removes everything from the boat while he is casting his line, as well as Squidward's shirt and nose, which Mr. Krabs does not mind, until SpongeBob's cast hooks onto the back of Mr. Krabs' pants (which he foolishly taped his millionth dollar to), and rips it off. Once the dollar is thrown into the lagoon, dramatic music begins playing, signaling an incoming clam attack, and SpongeBob begins reeling in the dollar as quickly as he can. Mr. Krabs locates the source of the dramatic music: a live-action orchestra playing behind a wooden door. Mr. Krabs yells and begs for them to stop playing, but to no avail. SpongeBob manages to reel it into the boat, and Mr. Krabs grabs the dollar. However, a blue-lipped clam suddenly jumps out of the lagoon, grabs the dollar out of Mr. Krabs' claw, and falls back into the lagoon and swims away. Mr. Krabs childishly wails over this. This continues until Squidward, out of annoyance, states they will help Mr. Krabs get his dollar back. Mr. Krabs is happy to hear this and gives everyone supplies so that they can prepare themselves for catching the clam. Mr. Krabs then starts keeping a lookout for the clam.
"The Team," consisting of SpongeBob, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs, works for three days, but the clam does not come back. SpongeBob and Squidward have now become tired of waiting for the clam to come, so they attempt to make Mr. Krabs happy by giving him a dollar out of Squidward's wallet. It works at first, but after Mr. Krabs rubs the dollar on his butt like a towel, he becomes worried and figures out that it is not his millionth dollar. Mr. Krabs then nails a sandwich to a flagpole and states that the sandwich will be the reward for the person who can retrieve his dollar from the giant blue-lipped clam. He then tosses all the other sandwiches overboard to make it "the sandwich." Squidward does not care, saying that they have plenty more to eat, but he is interrupted by Mr. Krabs dropping the whole fridge overboard. SpongeBob and Squidward now realize that Mr. Krabs has become insane, so Squidward whispers to SpongeBob that they should sneak over to the lifeboat quietly while Mr. Krabs is not looking. However, they run for their lives to the lifeboat while screaming. Upon entering the lifeboat, Mr. Krabs is revealed to have been secretly inside.
He then throws SpongeBob and Squidward out while they are tied together. Mr. Krabs is angry that his own crew would betray him, so he tricks SpongeBob and Squidward into live bait by hooking them to his rod. Soon enough, the dramatic music begins playing again, and this begins to freak them out. The blue-lipped clam begins swimming toward the boat. Soon enough, the clam opens its mouth and it is then revealed that the dollar is lying on its tongue. Mr. Krabs closes the sliding doors to stop the music, causing the clam to stop moving, so he jumps onto the clam's tongue, grabs the dollar and dances with it. However, the doors open back up and the dramatic music returns, causing the clam to shut its mouth while Mr. Krabs is still in it. The clam then dives back into the lagoon.
Thinking that Mr. Krabs is dead, SpongeBob and Squidward start crying (SpongeBob out of sadness from Mr. Krabs' "death," and Squidward out of sadness that Krabs left him tied to SpongeBob), until he is seen at the surface of the lagoon with his dollar. Mr. Krabs reveals that he and the clam fought until they made a trade. SpongeBob asks what did he give the blue-lipped clam. Mr. Krabs hops onto the boat to reveal that he had given off much of his whole body to the clam, except his head and arm, though he claims that he gave away nothing important.
On the storyboard of this episode on the SpongeGuard on Duty DVD, after Mr. Krabs has the one millionth dollar at the Krusty Krab, he uses the restaurant's phone to call his parents Victor Krabs and Mrs. Krabs at the Bikini Bottom Graveyard to tell them about it. Why this scene was deleted is unknown, but it may have been cut for time.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Hello Sailor (b) - Richard Myhill [opening]
‣ Superquick A - Daniel Jean Jeannin [Krabs' millionth dollar]
‣ What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor - Okko Bekker [Krabs takes SpongeBob and Squidward on a trip]
‣ The Girl I Left Behind Me - Brian Peters [clam fishing]
‣ The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White ["Okay, I've had enough."]
‣ Dangerous A - Mladen Franko [orchestra plays dramatic music]
‣ Dangerous C - Mladen Franko [giant clam eats Krabs' dollar]
‣ Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [Krabs crying]
‣ Up She Rises - Sam Spence ["Here's where clam fishing gets serious."]
‣ Steel Link (a) - Jeremy Wakefield [three days later]
‣ Tomfoolery - David Snell [SpongeBob and Squidward give Krabs an ordinary dollar]
‣ Superquick A - Daniel Jean Jeannin [Krabs dancing]
‣ Fates [#62] - Gregor F. Narholz ["I trusted you, and you gave me this!"]
‣ Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr [sandwich]
‣ Unease - Dick Stephen Walter [Krabs throws all their food overboard]
‣ In Loving Memory (b) - Len Rawle [Krabs crying]
‣ Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland [Krabs playing jump rope with his eyes]
‣ Killer Birds [#36] - Gregor F. Narholz ["I know what you're thinking."]
‣ Dramatic Encounter - Gregor F. Narholz ["Live bait!"]
‣ Dangerous A - Mladen Franko [dramatic music again]
‣ Drunken Sailor (b) - Robin Jeffrey, Tim Laycock [Krabs gets his dollar back]
‣ Dangerous B - Mladen Franko [Krabs eaten]
‣ Steel Licks (d) - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob, Squidward crying]
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Have you boys met me millionth dollar?"]
‣ The Girl I Left Behind Me - Brian Peters [ending]
- This episode is also available on the SpongeGuard on Duty (with storyboard version on the special features), Complete 3rd Season, First 100 Episodes, and Complete Third Season DVDs.
- "Clams" was ranked #98 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
- This episode, along with "New Student Starfish", premiered in Canada on December 13, 2002.
- This episode is very similar the "Fish-N-Chumps" episode of "Rocko's Modern Life", which is another Nicktoon. This episode has been rumored to have been inspired by that one.
- This episode possibly takes place before "Just One Bite," because in that episode, Squidward has a love for Krabby Patties, but in this episode, he states that he hates everything on the menu.
- Even though boats are used for driving in Bikini Bottom, the boat in this episode is used as a real boat would be.
- Mr. Krabs breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging the existence of the dramatic music while SpongeBob reels his dollar in (an ostinato in D minor, played in 4/4).
- He then opens a double-door on the boat which reveals an orchestra playing the same music.
- Later, when he is using them as bait, SpongeBob and Squidward question why the clam would appear then when it would not before.
- The camera pans to Mr. Krabs dressed as a conductor in front of the orchestra, revealing that it is the ominous background music that draws the clam's attention.
- The boat is called the S.S. Cheapskate, referring to Mr. Krabs.
- In this episode, the sky gradient is a darker shade of blue at the top and lighter at the bottom. In most other episodes, the sky gradient is darker at the bottom and lighter at the top.
- Irony: Mr. Krabs says, "And don't bring anything on a boat that you ain't prepared to lose." but a few moments later he loses his millionth dollar and he cries because of it.
- The orchestra is only seen when the boat is viewed from up close.
- When SpongeBob says "Yeah, and I have to go home and feed Gary," he has a beard and hair but when it cuts back to the boat, SpongeBob's beard and hair disappear. However, Squidward takes his off before Gary is shown, showing that they were fake beards.
- When Mr. Krabs is on the pole, he has a beard and hair. However, when SpongeBob and Squidward show Squidward's dollar to him and he goes down the pole, he has no beard or hair. Similar to how Squidward removes his earlier, Mr. Krabs' beard and hair could be fake.
- In some places, the scene where SpongeBob is wearing Coral Blue #2 Semi-Gloss Lipstick is cut. However the part where Mr. Krabs mentions the lipstick is there.
- This is the first episode that has SpongeBob wearing red swimming shorts until Season 8 with the episode “Patrick's Staycation." The shorts ever since is now SpongeBob normal swimming shorts.
- This was the last episode to premiere in 2002.
- Given the fact that the giant clam seems to be attracted to the music, it seems odd that the trio did not use this to lure it in and retrieve the dollar earlier.
- Perhaps they did not know this at the time or Mr. Krabs was too distracted to think of it until later, or perhaps it was a last resort.
- The French title for this episode is "Courage, rien n'est jamais perdu," which means "Courage, something that is never lost."
- In the October 12, 2016 airing, this episode was given a description on the Xfinity/Comcast TV Guide.
- This episode is a spoof of the Jaws movie series.
- The references to the film include the title card, the title, the musical score, and three main characters on a boat chasing a larger than normal animal.
- Mr. Krabs fills the role of Quint, who was portrayed by Robert Shaw in the movie.
- SpongeBob fills the role of Martin Brody, who was portrayed by Roy Scheider.
- Squidward fills the role of Matt Hooper, who was portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss.
- The theme music which plays throughout the episode is similar to the John Williams score to the film.
- The original name of the episode was "SpongeJaws", a pun of the movie's title.
- The episode also features numerous references to Moby Dick, including Mr. Krabs' obsessive pursuit of the clam and nailing a sandwich to a flagpole on the boat.
- Bikini Bottom Folk Village appears to be modeled after living museums such as Colonial Williamsburg and Plimouth Plantation.
- When the curtains open in the Krusty Krab, it covers up the part of the wall where SpongeBob and Squidward work.
- After SpongeBob hooks the flag, it is gone. However, while Mr. Krabs is telling SpongeBob he hooked his dollar, the flag reappears.
- S.S. Cheapskate is referred to numerous times as a boat, so it should not be called, "S.S. Cheapskate" as "S.S." stands for "Sister Ship" and it is not a ship.
- When Squidward clobbers SpongeBob before he can finish saying “Actually, it’s coral blue number thre-”, the lipstick he put on his lips disappears even after Squidward lifted the blunt object off of him.
- On one airing, after Mr. Krabs says, "And don't bring anything on a boat that you ain't prepare to lose," his laughing animation freezes for one second.
- Throughout most of the episode, the boat does not have a bowsprit. However, in the very final scene of the episode, it does.