— SpongeBob SquarePants, "Imitation Krabs"
The Krabby Patty secret formula is the recipe for the highly popular Krabby Patty burger sold by the famous Bikini Bottom restaurant, the Krusty Krab. There are many variations of the Krabby Patty, but all have one secret ingredient, which is yet to be identified or revealed. The secret formula was first mentioned in "Plankton!" and made its first physical appearance in "Imitation Krabs."
Throughout the series, Plankton tries to steal the formula, hoping to sell Krabby Patties at the Chum Bucket and run Krabs out of business. Karen gives Plankton many of his plans to steal the formula, and she is able to analyze a Krabby Patty to extract the formula herself, as seen in two episodes. Plankton has temporarily taken the formula on several occasions, most notably in the 2004 and 2020 movies, although the formula was ultimately returned in all cases.
The Krabby Patty secret formula is written in ink on a paper and sealed in a transparent light blue glass bottle with a cork on top to keep its opening secure. The Krabby Patty secret formula is kept only for those who are loyal enough to hide it from evildoers such as Plankton.
- Eugene H. Krabs (The original Krabby Patty)
- Sheldon J. Plankton (Chum Patties and indirectly the original Krabby Patty)
- SpongeBob SquarePants (The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run and Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years)
For the full ingredients of a Krabby Patty, see here.
The Krabby Patty contains both the top bun and the bottom bun, with the top bun containing sesame seeds. It also contains sea cheese, sea lettuce, sea tomatoes, pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and sea onions, all of which can be seen when a Krabby Patty is being made. As well as all of those ingredients are the patty and secret sauce, both of which have unknown ingredients, particularly the patty.
It is revealed that in "Friend or Foe," a pinch of chum was present in this formula before Plankton tore it off. In "The Great Patty Caper," at least 2 ingredients are confirmed: flour, barnacle shavings. And 2 possible ingredients are salt, and turmeric. Another confirmed ingredient is love, which is revealed in the episodes "Plankton's Army" and "Growth Spout," and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
The patty and the other secret ingredients are of the most point of interest. Since there is no mention of where the patty might have come from nor was there very little mention of the ingredients of the patty, said ingredients and other secret ingredients of the Krabby Patty remain a mystery. However, the secret ingredient has a major role in "Patty Caper."
Role in series
A running gag throughout the series is Plankton's many attempts to obtain the Krabby Patty formula as a means to attract customers to the Chum Bucket, usually through disguise and deceit. All of Plankton's attempts have failed, usually ending with Mr. Krabs throwing him back to the Chum Bucket or snatching the bottle out of his hands. Many of Plankton's plans come from Karen, who is more competent at coming up with ways to steal the formula. As shown in episodes such as "Single Cell Anniversary," "For Here or to Go" and ""Lockdown for Love," Karen is able to analyze a Krabby Patty to extract the secret formula herself.
The secret formula plays an essential role in the plot lines for the show's movie adaptations The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. In them, Plankton devises numerous ways to steal the formula as he does in many episodes in the series. In the second movie, it is Burger Beard who attempts and succeeds to steal the secret formula in order to set up his own fast-food restaurant on land.
- In "Krabby Road," the Krabby Patty secret formula can be seen with the ingredients being written in random letters or gibberish. Vincent Waller said in a Twitter reply that the ingredients were listed as gibberish on purpose so the audience would not know the true ingredients. He also said that there was no meat whatsoever in a Krabby Patty.
- It's also possible that the document Plankton stole was a simple decoy by Mr. Krabs. He pulls a similar trick in "It Came from Goo Lagoon."
- However in "Friend or Foe," it was shown that a pinch of chum is, originally, part of the Krabby Patty recipe. This possibly hints the source of its horrible taste. Since it was torn off after the struggle, Krabs is implied to have ignored the ingredient in the future, while Plankton is left with nothing but Chum.
- Karen actually gets the formula in "Single Cell Anniversary," but she explodes before Plankton can see it.
- In "Lockdown for Love" Karen got the formula but then erased it after Plankton ruined their date with her again.
- The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run and the Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years episode "Kitchen Sponge" reveals that SpongeBob is the true creator of the Krabby Patty formula.
- Despite being a major plot element of the series, it is only mentioned in season 1 and season 3. It also only physically appears once in season 2 and season 4.
- Its absence in season 1 is justified as it had yet to debut in physical form.
- "Walking Small," "Atlantis SquarePantis," "Banned in Bikini Bottom," "Chum Bucket Supreme," and "Free Samples" are currently the only episodes where Plankton's plot does not involve stealing the formula.