Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"The Algae's Always Greener" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 3. In this episode, Plankton travels to an alternate universe where he and Mr. Krabs have swapped life circumstances.



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 have a more satisfying existence, he longs to switch lives with him. Karen points out that he had conveniently invented a transmogrifier earlier, 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 "bun inspection."

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

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, Incidental 41, comes to complain about Squidward's horrific attempt at cooking while 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.

"Good grief he's naked!"

The siren, as 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 Eugene Krabs. Having life circumstances closer to those Plankton used to have at the beginning of the episode, he is now simply known as "Krabs," out to steal the formula, and, much like Plankton used to be, completely naked. 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 Krusty Krab gives a shrill "victory screech."

Krabs vows to Mr. Plankton that one day he will manage to steal a Krabby Patty repeatedly, even if he has to raid the place daily. Plankton finally finds his nemesis' life intolerable. He then screams and disrobes before hitting a button, and everything goes back to normal.

Plankton is transported directly in front of his holographic meatloaf back at the Chum Bucket within his home universe. He has a newfound appetite for the meatloaf and scoops it up, "eating" eagerly, as the episode ends.




 ) 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! - 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!"]
  Idea Vibe - 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.



  • When Plankton is in the alternate universe, he is the owner and founder of the Krusty Krab. However, it is unknown why the restaurant is still named "The Krusty Krab," as this name was used by Mr. Krabs when he was the owner. It is possible, as in the main universe in the episode "Krusty Krab Training Video," that Alternate Krusty Krab used to be a retirement home called "The Rusty Krab," with a "K" added when the building changed hands.
  • Paul Tibbitt has stated that this is his favorite episode.[3]
  • To date, this is the only episode of the main series where the main-universe SpongeBob SquarePants does not appear. However, his alternate-universe counterpart does.
    • If not counting this counterpart, this is so far the only episode of the series where SpongeBob is absent.
    • 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?"
    • In the French dub it translates to "Plankton Boss".
  • Alternate SpongeBob says "Soiled it!" 21 times and Alternate Mr. Krabs says "And the next day" 17 times.
  • While the naked Krabs refers to how Plankton supposedly does not wear clothes, the latter has been later retconned.
  • After Plankton sends Squidward to work in the kitchen, he is not seen again the rest of the episode despite Plankton yelling his name.
  • 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" premiered before the series premiere of ChalkZone.[4]
  • 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 upon finding Mr. Krabs' life to be overwhelming.
  • This one of the few times Plankton does not steal one of Karen's ideas.
  • In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Kod Drugoga je Uvijek Bolje" or "It's always better at the other one."
  • This is the first episode where Karen has a facial expression; in this case, it is rolling her eyes.

C.H. Greenblatt version.

Carl Greenblatt version.

  • C.H. Greenblatt is credited with his first name, Carl Greenblatt, in the opening credits on early reruns of this episode.[5][6] In the original airing on March 22nd, 2002 and all other releases, the opening credits retain the "C.H. Greenblatt" spelling of his name.[7][8]
Jellyfishing and Plankton! credits.png
  • This is the first episode where Karen's name is directly said out loud and used within dialogue. This also establishes her as Plankton's wife, with previous episodes having no indication.
    • The end credits in her debut episode, "Plankton!" used her name. It was also used in production materials.
  • Four prominent internet memes have come out of this episode:
    • Plankton screaming in anguish while in the red-striped gap between universes, suddenly stopping to sip on a drink, and then suddenly starting to scream again.
    • The scene where Plankton is confused about the Krabby Patty Squidward made before realizing how bad it is.
    • The scene where Plankton looks up at Mr. Krabs naked.
    • SpongeBob's "victory screech".
  • The title card background is similar to the title card of "Big Pink Loser" and the "Day Four" time card from "Band Geeks."

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 stones 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.


Polish 20200301 061334015.jpg
  • A blue screen with a date of May 29, 2001 by Rough Draft Korea can be seen during a bubble transition.
  • 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 is kicked out, the pathway to the Krusty Krab is gone and the pathway to the Chum Bucket is shorter than usual.
  • When Krabs is leaving the Krusty Krab, some of the frames of his walk contain the legs of Mr. Krabs' pants. This suggests that Krabs' walk cycle was traced over that of other episodes or his nudity was decided upon late in production.
  • 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.

Squidward only has two legs.

  • When Plankton says "I hope you like gray!," Squidward has two legs instead of four.
    • In the same shot, his eyelids are incorrectly the same color as his skin.
  • When Pearl says "He's the saltiest fish in the sea," her blink glitches.

Blue, bold border.

The Chum Bucket is missing.

  • When the camera focuses on Incidental 41's bad Krabby Patty, the right side of the screen has a blue, bold border.
  • The door to the kitchen is normally metal. When Mr. Krabs burst out to steal a Krabby Patty, however, it appears to be made of wood.
  • When Alternate-Universe Mr. Krabs repeatedly says "...and the next day..." when walking backwards out of the Krusty Krab, the Chum Bucket and the path to it are both missing.
  • In Mr. Plankton's picture of him and Pearl, the red heart on Pearl's mouth and the letter P on Pearl's shirt are missing.
  • In the French Dub, Plankton Screaming while sipping soda is untranslated.

Pearl has no letter P on her shirt and lipstick.



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


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