Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"The Ghost of Plankton" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from Season 12. In this episode, Plankton becomes a ghost to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula, but requires a few lessons from the Flying Dutchman before doing so.



The episode starts with Plankton watching a horror movie on Karen’s screen on movie night. When he pretends to be a ghost, he gets an idea to steal the secret formula. After Karen unplugs herself, Plankton creates a ghost extracting machine, and turns into a ghost. By being a ghost, he can go through walls, which is how he got into the safe in the Krusty Krab. However, by being a ghost, he can go through walls, but he cannot pick things up either, leading to what seems to be a failure.

"I look like I just saw a ghost!"

That is when the Flying Dutchman appears on Mr. Krabs' chair, cackling, and tells Plankton that it takes some training to pick things up, and he picks up the bottle on his first try. So the training begins.


First off, the Flying Dutchman tells Plankton that he needs to learn the art of shapeshifting, in which one should think of a scary thought, and then they become that scary thought. The Flying Dutchman turns into multiple scary things, and then it is Plankton's turn. He turns into a weird shape, but since it is not scary, he becomes a duplicate of the Flying Dutchman. Accepting the pupil's talent, the Flying Dutchman whacks him with a mallet. They move on to lesson two.


In order to be a proper ghost, one has to scare others. The Flying Dutchman scares the life out of a robber, and when Plankton does his scare, he accidentally scares himself through a mirror. The Flying Dutchman accepts it, hits him with a golf club, and they move on to lesson three.

Haunting Houses

For this lesson, one has to make another's life a nightmare by haunting their house. The Flying Dutchman and Plankton go over to Squidward's house, and the haunting begins. Plankton becomes Squidward's bed and shakes, waking Squidward up. When he finds out his bed is haunted, Squidward hides in the dresser, with his clarinet. But he plays his clarinet badly, and a few seconds later, an annoyed Plankton pulls the clarinet from Squidward and morphs into a SpongeBob ghost, and becomes visible. Squidward tries to escape, but knocks himself unconscious. Plankton, realizing he took the clarinet, finds out that he can pick things up now. They move onto the final lesson.

How to Pick Things Up

In this final lesson, the Flying Dutchman tells Plankton that he has to be really angry in order to pick something up. On a second attempt to steal the formula, Plankton picks it up just fine after hearing the Dutchman's advice. However, when he tries to take it out of the safe, the bottle will not go through the wall, as it is not a ghost. After admitting defeat, he decides to go back to his regular body.

But when he enters the Chum Bucket, he is surprised to find out that Karen had invited everyone to Plankton's funeral because he left his body alone for too long. His corpse lay on a coffin, and Plankton feels like getting into his body when the Flying Dutchman says he is dead forever. Plankton denies it, saying he is only a "temporary" ghost, but an eager Flying Dutchman goes into Plankton's body to be alive again. Believing that Plankton played a cruel joke by pretending to be dead, all the mourners, except SpongeBob, get real angry. They form a mob and stomp on the Flying Dutchman in Plankton's body. He decides to give up and give Plankton his body back. Plankton happily accepts, and even after being stomped multiple times by the people, he says that it is good to be alive. The episode ends with the Flying Dutchman doing a jump scare in front of a "The End" card.

Running gags

  • The Flying Dutchman hitting Plankton whenever they go on to a new lesson.


The episode was confirmed by Vincent Waller on June 29, 2019.[5]



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Mostly Ghostly A - John Rowcroft [Title card]
  New Threat - Roger Roger [Horror movie in Karen's screen]
  ? - Unknown public domain movie soundtrack samples [Horror movie in Karen's screen]
  Down in Davey Jones Locker - Nicolas Carr ["I'm the ghost of Plankton! Uuuh...!"]
  ? [Plankton falls from the sofa]
  Great Idea Patrick - Nicolas Carr [Plankton gets an idea]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 2B - Jeremy Wakefield [Plankton jumps onto Karen's hand]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 10 - Jeremy Wakefield [Plankton changes her screen to make the blueprint of his plan]
  ? ["If I were a ghost, I could walk right through the walls of the Krusty Krab and take the Krabby Patty secret formula!"]
  Fooling Around 2 - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Karen unplugs and shuts herself off]
  Ghost Extractor - Nicolas Carr
  At the Graveyard - Gregor Narholz [Plankton gets into the ghost extracting machine]
  ? [Plankton becomes a ghost and goes into the Krusty Krab's safe]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 9C - Jeremy Wakefield [Plankton cries]
  Malleus Mallificarum (A) - Dave Hewson [Flying Dutchman laughing at Plankton]
  Ghostly Scoundrel - Eban Schletter [Flying Dutchman tells Plankton he can teach him how to pick things up]
  ? ["Shapeshifting is one of the easiest things a ghost can do. You just have to think of a horrible thing and poof!"]
  Monster Movie Orchestra - Steve Sechi, Kostas Varotsis [Big Fish Audio] [Flying Dutchman adopts different forms of horrible things]
  ? ["Now, you try."]
  Bad Slide - [ProjectSAM Symphobia Colours: Animator] [Flying Dutchman facepalms]
  Bad Ghost - Nicolas Carr ["What were you thinking?! Bad ghost! Bad!"]
  Ghostly Scoundrel - Eban Schletter [Plankton adopts the form of the Flying Dutchman]
  Deep Shadows - Eban Schletter ["Pay close attention, squirt. This is how you scare someone."]
  Tales from the Swamp (b) - Ron Goodwin [Flying Dutchman scares the robber]
  Med Evil A - Alexander Rudd ["Shh, someone's coming."]
  House Of Horror - William Merrick Farran [Plankton scares himself accidentally]
  A Haunting We Will Go - Ronald Hanmer [Flying Dutchman and Plankton at Squidward's house at night]
  The Creature (a) - Gregor Narholz [Squidward gets scared]
  A Haunting We Will Go - Ronald Hanmer [Squidward hides in his drawer]
  Silly Bob Conversation 2 - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony ["Oh, what a terrible nightmare."]
  ? - Brad Carow, Nicolas Carr [Squidward playing clarinet]
  House Of Horror - William Merrick Farran [Plankton grabs Squidward's clarinet adopting SpongeBob's form]
  Unknown Track 109 - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Squidward unconscious on the floor]
  Ooh-Er - Fredric Bayco ["Hey, I picked something up! I can take things up!"]
  ? [Plankton and Flying Dutchman exit Squidward's house]
  Spooks - Fredric Bayco ["To pick things up, you gotta get really angry!"]
  Fraidy Cat - Fredric Bayco [Plankton adopts a mallet form and hits the Flying Dutchman in the head]
  Spooks - Fredric Bayco [After Plankton hits Flying Dutchman]
  Love Story: Lonely - Laurie Johnson [Flying Dutchman sobs]
  Bump in the Night - Fredric Bayco [Plankton goes to the Krusty Krab again]
  Long Legged Beasties - Fredric Bayco [Plankton grabs the secret formula but he can't take it out from the safe]
  Creepy Crawly - Ronald Hanmer [Plankton goes back to the Chum Bucket]
  The Funeral - James Thomas [Audio Network] [Plankton's funeral at the Chum Bucket]
  Creepy Crawly - Ronald Hanmer [Flying Dutchman possesses Plankton's body]
  Eight Dramatic Bridges - Ronald Hanmer [Everyone gasps]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Hooray!"]
  Cellar Search - Philippe Pares [Everyone gets angry at Plankton]
  Tension Bits - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Everyone stomps Plankton]
  Ooh-Er - Fredric Bayco [Flying Dutchman exits Plankton's body]
  Bump in the Night - Fredric Bayco [Plankton puts his body back on]
  Slide Whistle Stooges - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Everyone surrounds Plankton]
  Mostly Ghostly A - John Rowcroft [Ending]




The Flying Dutchman's jumpscare.

  • The Flying Dutchman breaks the fourth wall at the very end when he pops up after the "The End" title card, scaring the viewers.
  • In Russia, this episode was paired up with "Boss for a Day," even though it was originally going to air together with its sister episode, but that got paired up with that episode instead due to a mistake in the schedule.
  • This is the second episode where a main character turns into a ghost. The first was "The Curse of Bikini Bottom."
  • The title used in this episode's official promo is titled as "SpongeBob ScarePants."
  • This is the only season 12 episode where the Flying Dutchman appears.


Squidward's missing wrinkles.

  • When Squidward become unconscious, the wrinkles on his forehead are missing.



“SpongeBob ScarePants” Promo (Oct. 2019)



SpongeBob SquarePants - The Ghost of Plankton - YTV