- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Eugene H. Krabs
- Sheldon J. Plankton
- Squidward Tentacles (cameo)
- Karen Plankton
- Sea leprechaun (cameo on book cover)
- Robot SpongeBob (debut)
- Burger creature (debut)
- Seahorse (cameo on comic book cover)
- Patrick Star (cameo in comic book)
It is closing time at the Krusty Krab, and Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob that he is off to play cards against Plankton. He is shocked that Mr. Krabs would risk losing anything to an unscrupulous character like Plankton. Mr. Krabs confidently explains to SpongeBob that Plankton is the worst card player in Bikini Bottom by losing all the card games every Thursday night for fifteen years.
The next morning, however, Mr. Krabs sadly informs SpongeBob that he lost, and the wager of the card game from the previous night has been SpongeBob's employment, because Mr. Krabs bet his contract by mistake. SpongeBob initially thinks that Mr. Krabs is joking, but he is not, and SpongeBob tries to enter the Krusty Krab, but Mr. Krabs stops him and tells SpongeBob that he no longer works there. A shocked Squidward runs out to confirm the news. A gleeful Plankton arrives to spirit SpongeBob away to the Chum Bucket, all the while laughing and gloating at Krabs' defeat. At the Chum Bucket, Plankton cruelly orders SpongeBob to make him a Krabby Patty immediately and threatens to remove SpongeBob's brain and put it in a robot version of the sponge if he refuses to obey Plankton's order.
However, SpongeBob finds himself unable to work in the Chum Bucket's cold, laboratory-like kitchen, and Karen suggests to Plankton that he must show SpongeBob compassion and understanding. This way, he will give Plankton what he wants. Plankton takes Karen's advice and goes to great lengths to improve SpongeBob's working conditions, eventually converting the Chum Bucket kitchen into an exact replica of the Krusty Krab kitchen. As time goes on, however, SpongeBob begins to catch on to Plankton's ruse, and decides to pull a trick of his own, turning his humble requests into increasingly selfish demands, eventually refusing Plankton's order altogether.
After being fed up with SpongeBob's bratty attitude and neglecting to control his temper, Plankton takes out SpongeBob's brain and implants it in the robot, confident that this will now have his order fulfilled. The SpongeBob Robot, however, still refuses to make Plankton a Krabby Patty, and Plankton breaks down, finally having enough. Just as Mr. Krabs is about to close the Krusty Krab for good, a crying Plankton comes over and begs him to take SpongeBob back, saying that he cannot stand him anymore. Mr. Krabs quickly hides the closed sign and initially refuses, but Plankton begs him and his enemy accepts while asking for money and Plankton gladly complies while admitting that he cheated on the card game so he could take SpongeBob away from him. Mr. Krabs then flings a happy-crying Plankton back to his restaurant. Afterwards, SpongeBob's brain has been restored and Mr. Krabs welcomes him back and encourages him to get back to cooking. SpongeBob fools Mr. Krabs that he still does not feel like working, but when SpongeBob is given one tense glare from Mr. Krabs, he quickly changes his tune saying "I mean, I'm working all day for free, my treat!". A satisfied Mr. Krabs states "That's what I thought you said."
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Danger Zone - Mike Sunderland ["Plankton?!"]
‣ Spanish Ladies (b) - Robin Jeffrey, Tim Laycock ["Plankton is the worst card player in Bikini Bottom."]
‣ Botany Bay (b) - Robert Alexander White [Krabs crying the next morning]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob laughs]
‣ Botany Bay (b) - Robert Alexander White ["I'm afraid you don't work here anymore."]
‣ Like Strange - Kenny Graham ["I'm afraid he's not joking."]
‣ Finger of Fear - Fredric Bayco [SpongeBob put in a cage]
‣ Hercule Poirot - Gerhard Trede [SpongeBob at the Chum Bucket]
◦ This Grill is Not a Home - Eban Schletter, Paul Tibbitt
‣ Zelle 501 - Gerhard Trede ["All these tears? And the show tunes?"]
‣ Dramatic Impact 6 - Ivor Slaney [patty with arm]
‣ Wooden Bear - Gil Flat, Tony Tape, Florian Voelxen [Plankton moving the grill]
‣ The Rake Hornpipe - Robert Alexander White [replica of Krusty Krab kitchen]
‣ Lonely Violin - Dick Stephen Walter [SpongeBob cries]
‣ Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [vibrating shoes]
‣ Ulk-Fox Nr. 2 - Gerhard Trede [SpongeBob getting spoiled]
‣ Frankenstein's Niece D - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob's brain put in robot]
• Steel Licks 8 - Jeremy Wakefield [Plankton screams]
‣ Paradise Isle - Jan Rap [Plankton begs Krabs to take SpongeBob back]
‣ Captain Lenoe's - The Folk Players [ending]
- This episode is available on the Halloween, Complete 2nd Season, The Best 200 Episodes Ever, The First & Second Seasons, The Complete Second Season, First 100 Episodes, Holidays with SpongeBob 3-DVD Gift Set and SpongeBob, You're Fired! DVDs.
- "Welcome to the Chum Bucket" was ranked #94 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
- Although this episode premiered in 2002, it was made in 2001 according to the credits.
- This was the first episode to premiere in 2002.
- The magazine that Robot-SpongeBob is reading has a SpongeBob comic strip in it, featuring SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward.
- This episode premiered in Canada on December 20, 2002.
- The book Plankton reads to SpongeBob is also seen in "Grandma's Kisses," even though the plots seem to be different. In this episode, it is about sea elves. In "Grandma's Kisses," it is about a sea leprechaun.
- The Chum Bucket Lego set features Robot SpongeBob from this episode.
- Plankton breaks the fourth wall twice:
- When he mentions "All these tears and the showtunes."
- When he says to the audience "I put the brain in the robot, you know."
- This episode was the subject of a clue on the episode of Jeopardy! that aired on October 10, 2005, during Back to School Week.
- Things Plankton did to try to get SpongeBob to make a Krabby Patty:
- New shoes
- Krusty Krab kitchen replica
- Bathing him
- Ice cream
- Pushing him on a rolling seahorse
- Reading him a book
- Not hitting him
- Rubbing his feet
- This is the second episode to have computerized picture-shaking effects. They occur whenever Plankton moves the grill. The first episode to use these effects was "Neptune's Spatula."
- The PlayStation version of SuperSponge shows clips of this episode in the "introducing Mr. Krabs and Plankton" scene. It is unknown how the clips could have gotten in that video game because SuperSponge was released about two months before this episode premiered.
- The scene where SpongeBob and Krabs singing as they missed each other was rarely shown in Indonesia. This was done due to time constraints as its airings were paired with ads.
- Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob that he and Plankton play cards every Thursday night, implying that this is his first week at the Krusty Krab.
- In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Uđite u Kantu!" which translates to "Enter The Chum Bucket!"
- This is the second episode where Plankton forces SpongeBob to go to the Chum Bucket. The first is "Plankton!"
- Mr. Krabs says he was playing cards with Plankton for 15 years, making it 15 years since Plankton first tried to take the formula.
- However in "Plankton's Army", it was the 25th anniversary of when he first tried to take the formula.
- According to the episode's commentary, there was going to be a scene where Plankton takes out SpongeBob's brain before he puts it in the robot, but it was cut for time.
- At the beginning of the episode, right when Plankton appears, there's a bottle cap laying on the ground. The logo on this bottle cap is a variation of the Pepsi logo emblem.
- Mr. Krabs' and SpongeBob's duet is almost certainly a parody of the popular show tune "A House Is Not A Home".
- When SpongeBob is bathing, his sleeves are shown.
- At the end of the episode, when it shows the Krusty Krab, a Help Wanted sign can be seen on the right window even though SpongeBob is hired.
- Throughout the entire scene where Plankton moves SpongeBob's grill, there is a light blue border.
- In the opening credits, the k in Carson Kugler's name is lowercased instead of capitalized.
- The art style changes for a split-second when Plankton is moving the grill.