"The Algae's Always Greener" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, Mr. Krabs and Plankton switch lives.



After failing to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula once again, Plankton decides that he is tired of eating holographic meatloaf. Believing Mr. Krabs to be much better off, he longs to switch lives with him. Karen points out the transmogrifier he conveniently has to do just that and suggests he use it. Plankton takes her advice and later finds himself waking up in Mr. Krabs' office. Now wearing Mr. Krabs' outfit, Plankton looks at a nameplate reading "Mr. Plankton" and realizes that he has successfully entered a universe where he is, in fact, successful. His first act is to have Alternate-Universe SpongeBob SquarePants, now his employee, present him with two Krabby Patties for "bun inspection."

The Algae's Always Greener 078

The "bun inspection"

As Mr. Plankton drools over the Krabby Patties and celebrates his newfound power and wealth, Alternate-Universe SpongeBob suddenly pops back in for his weekly performance review. Mr. Plankton tells him that he is fine the way he is, but Alternate-Universe SpongeBob persists and demands that something is found wrong with him. Plankton dismissively remarks that Alternate-Universe SpongeBob used a little too much sauce, but rather than placating him, this critique sends Alternate-Universe SpongeBob spiraling into despair even though he wanted to be criticized. Mr. Plankton resorts to promoting Alternate-Universe SpongeBob to "co-cashier," much to the disdain of the former's other new employee, Alternate-Universe Squidward Tentacles. He enters Plankton's office to complain and winds up as Alternate-Universe SpongeBob's fry-cooking replacement.

The Algae's Always Greener 098

"Ugh... ugh... ugh... ugh..."

Before Mr. Plankton can get back to his Krabby Patties, his new daughter, Pearl Plankton, arrives, asking for an advance on her allowance. He gives her a dollar, which she finds unacceptably paltry. As she sobs, a customer comes to complain about Alternate-Universe Squidward's horrific attempt at cooking while Alternate-Universe SpongeBob dissolves over a slightly mistaken order. Mr. Plankton begs for all the complaining to stop, which does in the face of a siren going off.

The Algae's Always Greener 169

"Good grief he's naked!"

The siren, as Alternate-Universe SpongeBob and the others explain, is a warning for an imminent threat to the Krabby Patty formula, a threat that turns out to be Alternate-Universe Mr. Krabs. Having taken over Plankton's life, he is now simply known as "Krabs," out to steal the formula, and, much like Plankton used to be, completely naked. Alternate-Universe SpongeBob fights Krabs off with a clothes-shooting cannon and finally manages to clap him in an underwired bra. Krabs relinquishes his stolen patty to a baffled Mr. Plankton as everyone at the Alternate-Universe Krusty Krab gives a shrill "victory screech."

Krabs vows to Mr. Plankton that one day he will manage to steal a Krabby Patty, even if he has to return day after day after day to do it, a persistence that makes Mr. Plankton realize how intolerable living Krabs' life is for him. Plankton then screams, unable to stand this new life and its problems any longer, and presses a button to send himself home.

Plankton is transported directly in front of his holographic meatloaf back at the Chum Bucket, which he has a newfound appetite for and scoops up eating eagerly.



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music
  Hawaiian Islands - Harold Geller, Desmond Champ [Title card]

  Like Strange - Kenny Graham [Plankton in ketchup bottle]
  High Speed Action - Laurie Johnson [alarm goes off]
  The Dreadnought Tea Clipper (b) - Tim Laycock, Robert Alexander White ["So, it was just another failed Krabby Patty theft attempt..."]
  High Speed Action - Laurie Johnson ["Curse you, Mr. Krabs!"]
  Wooden Bear - Gil Flat, Tony Tape, Florian Voelxen [holographic meatloaf]
  The Creature (b) - Gregor F. Narholz [life switcher]
  The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz [Plankton screaming]
  Lonely Stranger - Laurie Johnson [Plankton in Krabs' office]
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["Two deluxe Krabby Patties!"]
  Tripping Upstairs - Brian Peters [SpongeBob brings patties to customer]
  Romance in Paris - Ib Glindemann ["All mine! It's finally all mine!"]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["SpongeBob?"]
  Bashful Eyes - Kapono Beamer [performance review]
  Romance in Paris - Ib Glindemann [Plankton kisses the patty]
  Torn Apart - Mike Sunderland ["There's got to be something I need to improve on!"]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill [SpongeBob's upset]
  Glissando (a) - Skaila Kanga, Richard Myhill ["A pro- A promo- A promotion?!"]
  The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [SpongeBob standing next to Squidward]
  Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer ["Co-cashier?!"]
  Cocktail Lounge - Dick Stephen Walter ["So, have you two known each other long?"]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [Squidward in the kitchen]
  Rococo Rondo - Tedeusz Rozycki [Pearl appears]
  Tympup A - Sammy Burdson, John Charles Fiddy ["One dollar? You hate me!"]
  Dramatic Cue (b) - Ronald Hanmer [Pearl crying]
  Dramatic Cue (a) - Ronald Hanmer [shot of rotten Krabby Patty]
  Fates [#61.03] - Gregor F. Narholz ["I tried, Mr. Plankton. I really did."]
  The Creature (a) - Gregor F. Narholz ["No, sir... he's back."]
  Sword Fight - Sam Fonteyn [Krabs revealed]
  Finger of Suspicion 2 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Krabs saying he'll be back]
  Cocktail Lounge - Dick Stephen Walter [ending]



  • "The Algae's Always Greener" was ranked #97 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.



  • Paul Tibbitt has stated that this is his favorite episode.[1]
  • This is the second time a season starts in production order way later than other episodes in the season.
  • To date, this is the only episode of the series where the main-universe SpongeBob SquarePants does not appear. However, his alternate-universe counterpart does.
    • If not counting this counterpart, this would be the first and only episode of the series where SpongeBob does not appear.
    • As of this episode, every character on the show has been absent for at least one episode.
  • In the Dutch dub the title of this episode is "Hoe het is om meneer Krabs te zijn," which translates to "How is it to be, Mr. Krabs?"
  • Alternate SpongeBob says "Soiled it!" 21 times and Alternate Mr. Krabs says "And the next day" 17 times.
  • Plankton is suddenly seen wearing Mr. Krabs' clothes, because he has experienced the success of the life-switch. The same way is with the nude arch-enemy Krabs because Plankton never wears clothes.
The Algae's Always Greener 138

"Oh my goodness, Squidward!"

The Algae's Always Greener 145

"Soiled it!"

  • The face that SpongeBob makes when Plankton says he uses too much sauce has become a popular YouTube meme for its bizarre nature.
    • The "Oh my goodness! Squidward!" quote, the victory screech, and SpongeBob's quote when he exclaims "Soiled it!" have also become internet memes.
  • SpongeBob would do the victory screech again in the video games Battle for Bikini Bottom, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie video game, Winter Spin & Win, and Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated.
  • This is the first of four episodes transcribed as a comic into the SpongeBob SquarePants/Tokyopop book Krusty Krab Adventures. The other three were "Culture Shock," "Pizza Delivery," and "Pickles."
  • This episode along with "SpongeGuard on Duty" precedes the Nickelodeon animated series ChalkZone.[2]
  • This is another instance in which Squidward's Krabby Patty cooking skills are shown to be sub-par. Other previous instances were in "Pickles" and "Hooky."
  • This episode reveals that "Plankton" is Plankton's last name, not his first name.
  • This is one of the few episodes where Plankton succeeds in one of his evil plans, though he quickly decides to abandon it once he realizes that living Mr. Krabs' life would be too difficult for him.
  • In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Kod Drugoga je Uvijek Bolje" or "It's always better at the other one."

Carl Greenblatt version

The Algae's Always Greener C.H. Greenblatt version

C.H. Greenblatt version

  • In possibly early reruns of this episode, C.H. Greenblatt was credited as "Carl Greenblatt."[3]
  • Karen's name is revealed in this episode. This also establishes her as Plankton's wife, with previous episodes having no indication.
    • This episode is also the first time Karen shows personality.

Cultural references

  • The title is a pun of the saying "the grass is always greener (on the other side of the hill)."
  • While being launched, Plankton says "Reunited and it's gonna feel so good," a reference to the Peaches & Herb song "Reunited."
  • When Plankton says "Rolling stones gather no algae," it is a pun on the saying "Rolling pebbles gather no moss."
  • When SpongeBob is shooting Mr. Krabs with the clothes cannon, he shouts a rule common in the restaurant business: "No shirt, no shoes, no service."
  • SpongeBob's line "Knick-knack, the patty's back!," is a reference to "knick-knack paddywhack" in the nursery rhyme "This Old Man."
  • The "Clams" magazine in Mr. Plankton's office is a parody of the Times magazine.


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  • At one point, a bubble transition begins but there is a blue screen with a date of May 29, 2001 by Rough Draft Korea.
  • When Plankton is sitting at his kitchen table and he has a can of soda on the table, between frames, the can shifts to the edge of the table right before he picks it up.
  • When Plankton says "I'm in the Krusty Krab," Tom walks by the window. When Plankton says "The Krusty Krab is mine!" Tom walks by the window again.
  • When Plankton is kicked out, the pathway to the Krusty Krab is gone and the pathway to the Chum Bucket is shorter than usual.
  • When Mr. Krabs is leaving the Krusty Krab, some of the frames of his walk contain the legs of Mr. Krabs' pants.
  • When SpongeBob gives Plankton the phone, his belt lock is red instead of yellow.
  • When SpongeBob is doing the "victory screech," both the cannon and cashier's spot are missing.
  • When Plankton walks over to find the "Off" button on SpongeBob, his eye turns white for a second.
  • When Squidward says "I'd like my view to be a little less yellow if you know what I mean," he does not close his mouth properly.
The Algae's Always Greener 121

Squidward only has two legs.

  • When Plankton says "I hope you like gray!," Squidward has two legs instead of four.
  • When Pearl says "He's the saltiest fish in the sea," her blink glitches.
  • When the camera focuses on the bad Krabby Patty, the right side of the screen has a blue, bold border.


Plankton REPLACED Mr

Plankton REPLACED Mr. Krabs! 👁 "The Algae's Always Greener" Episode in 5 Minutes! SpongeBob

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