In the beginning of the episode, Mr. Krabs watches Plankton who is outside of the Chum Bucket through a telescope. Plankton waves a white flag and Mr. Krabs is suspicious of him. Plankton tells Mr. Krabs that he gives up his restaurant and turns it into a souvenir shop that sells knick-knacks. Mr. Krabs does not believe this, and he tries to lure Plankton out. It fails, and Mr. Krabs decides to go to the store himself. He then confronts Plankton, and, in a rage, he destroys many of Plankton's items. Finally, Mr. Krabs realizes that Plankton is telling the truth about his surrender and walks away in shame.
Later, Mr. Krabs calls Plankton, apologizes for what he did, and he takes Plankton to a carnival. After having so much fun, Mr. Krabs decides to share the secret Krabby Patty formula with Plankton. Plankton refuses to take it, but eventually, Krabs talks him into taking the paper.
The scene fades to black, but after a few seconds, Plankton pops out and laughs evilly with the formula held above him. Plankton reveals that the knick-knack store was merely a trick to get the formula and that he was lying all along. He prepares to read the formula, but it is revealed to be a note that reads: "Gotcha! - ♥ Krabs." Mr. Krabs arrives at the Chum Bucket, stating he actually never gave Plankton the formula and explains that he knew that he was lying and that Plankton had fooled him with a bigger scheme. The episode ends with Plankton screaming in anger and frustration.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
• Puka A - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Title card]
• Plankton Surrenders - Nicolas Carr [Plankton waving a truce flag]
‣ The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band ["I wonder what form of trickery is up his sleeve this time."]
• Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["What is this?"]
‣ Hawaiian Flower - Jon Jelmer ["I'm through competing with you!"]
‣ Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [inside the Chum Bucket]
‣ Tomfoolery - David Snell [box of knickknacks]
• Steel Licks 8 - Jeremy Wakefield ["What's going on, Mr. Krabs?"]
• Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob's eyes peeled]
‣ Ta-Ra A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy [Chumporium opened]
• Sneaky Transition - Nicolas Carr ["I have a feeling I'm gonna like this new life of novelty items."]
‣ Furtive Footsteps - Paddy Kingsland [snow globe]
‣ Against the Law (b) - Wilfred William Burns [Krabs going paranoid]
• Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr [DJ system]
• Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Let's party!"]
• MC DJ SquarePants - Nicolas Carr [dance music]
‣ Heavy Footsteps (a) - Paddy Kingsland ["Come on, buddy, let's get some shuteye."]
‣ Housewives Choice - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Krabs enters the Chumporium]
‣ Background Blues - Otto Sieben ["I get it, you caught me red-handed."]
• What's This - Nicolas Carr ["Wait, did you say... no?"]
‣ Six Powerful Cues (f) - Wilfred William Burns [Krabs destroying knickknacks]
‣ Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [Plankton's upset]
• What's This - Nicolas Carr ["What's this?"]
‣ Fates - Gregor F. Narholz ["Can't you understand I've wasted so much time chasing after you?"]
• Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [Plankton taking a shower]
‣ Kamakani (b) - Kapono Beamer [Krabs on the phone]
‣ Friends and Neighbours - Alan Hawkshaw [montage of Krabs and Plankton together]
‣ The Dreadnought Tea Clipper (b) - Tim Laycock, Robert Alexander White ["That was truly amazing, Plank, old buddy."]
‣ Tearjerker [#77] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Krabs gives Plankton the formula]
‣ Zelle 502 - Gerhard Trede ["Yeah, baby! This is it!"]
• Unknown Hawaiian Sting - Nicolas Carr [The formula is fake]
• Clownfish Capers - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [ending]
- This episode is available on the Karate Island, Season 4 Volume 2, First 100 Episodes, Complete Fourth Season, 2-Season TV Pack, The Ultimate Box Set, The Ultimate SpongeBob Box Set, The SpongeBob SquarePants Collection, The SpongeBob SquarePants 8 Season DVD Collection, Double DVD Fun, Double Feature Volume 1, From the Beginning, Part 2, SpongeBob SquarePants Vol. 6, The Third & Fourth Seasons, and The Best 200 Episodes Ever DVDs.
- "New Leaf" was ranked #6 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.
- "New Leaf" was ranked #72 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.
- This episode was available on the Karate Island DVD, released 2 months before it aired on American television.
- Mr. Krabs mentions the episode title when he says, "Okay, boys, the coast is clear. Plankton's turned over a new leaf."
- Mr. Krabs tells Squidward to dance or be fired. Squidward dances with fear as if he does not want to lose his job. This is one of the few instances in which he expresses concern over getting fired; another instance was previously shown in "Can You Spare a Dime?"
- The items sold at Chumporium include lava lamps, snow globes, teddy bears, and T-shirts. Plankton also mentions it selling bubble gum.
- When Mr. Krabs and Plankton play pool, Plankton knocks in the eight ball and says, "I guess I won." However, knocking the eight ball in any game of pool means he lost.
- This episode foreshadows "Friend or Foe," when Plankton says, "Let's go back to the old days."
- Mr. Krabs and Plankton were not revealed to be ex-best friends until that episode.
- In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Nowy rozdział," which translates to "New Chapter."
- Due to the majority of the episode focusing on Mr. Krabs and Plankton, this marks one of SpongeBob's smallest roles, as he is not seen again after the scene of him as a DJ and only speaks six lines.
- Another one of his smallest roles was in "Mall Girl Pearl" when he was seen a few times with Squidward.
- When the title card appears, the music is frozen for a split second, but then it plays as normal.
- When Mr. Krabs comes into the store to talk with Plankton, he is wiping one of his snow globes with a rag; he puts it down to talk with Mr. Krabs, but it disappears afterward.
- When Plankton and Mr. Krabs come into the Krusty Krab to talk, Plankton gets on the soda and starts drinking it. However, in the next shot, it is gone.
- After Plankton opens the "gotcha!" letter, Mr. Krabs bursts through the door of the Chum Bucket. However, the door is transparent with rectangular knobs rather than the usual red with round windows.
- In the closing credits to this episode, Doug Lawrence, who voiced Plankton, is not credited. Instead, Lawrence voicing Larry the Lobster is credited, even though Larry is neither seen nor heard in this episode.
- This episode originally had "The" at the beginning of the title, making the title The New Leaf. It is mistakenly called "The New Leaf" on the closing credits.
- The inside of Plankton's mouth is purple in this episode, as opposed to red.
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