- 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)
The episode starts out during closing time at the Krusty Krab, 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. SpongeBob initially thinks that Mr. Krabs is joking, and 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" as the episode closes.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Oyster Girls - Robert Alexander White [Title card]
‣ 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]
• Idea Vibe - 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, From the Beginning, Pt.1, Sheldon Plankton: Mean and Green, Get to Work!, SpongeBob SquarePants Vol. 3, The SpongeBob SquarePants Collection, SpongeBob ScaryPants Collection, The SpongeBob SquarePants 8 Season DVD Collection, The Houses of the Band, Nautical Nonsense and Sponge Buddies (Danish and Norwegian only), The First & Second Seasons, The Complete Second Season, The Ultimate SpongeBob Box Set, First 100 Episodes, Holidays with SpongeBob 3-DVD Gift Set, and SpongeBob, You're Fired! DVDs and on VideoNow.
- "Welcome to the Chum Bucket" was ranked #94 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.
- "Welcome to the Chum Bucket" was ranked #81 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.
- The magazine that Robot-SpongeBob is reading has a SpongeBob comic strip in it, featuring SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward.
- 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.
- This episode, along with its sister episode, "Frankendoodle," are season 2 episodes, and "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV" and "Doing Time" are season 3 episodes. However, both pairs of episodes did premiere on the exact same day, January 21, 2002.
- This episode marks the first usage of the tracks "Like Strange," "Finger of Fear," and "Zelle 501."
- 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."
- There is a deleted scene which showed Plankton taking out SpongeBob's brain before putting it in the robot.
- This episode was the subject of a clue on the episode of Jeopardy! that aired on October 10, 2005, during Back to School Week.
- 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.
- The scene where SpongeBob and Krabs singing as they missed each other are occasionally shown in Indonesia. This was done due to time constraints as its airings were paired with ads.
- In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Uđite u Kantu!" which translates to "Enter The Chum Bucket!"
- 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.
- Foreshadowing: While Plankton is talking with Karen over thinking of putting SpongeBob's brain in the robot, Karen warns him that never works. It turns out, putting SpongeBob's brain in the robot didn't change his personality or attitude, and the robot mouths off at Plankton as well.
- According to the audio commentary, the man who appears in the "SCIENCE!" calendar was originally meant to be Finbarr O'Riordan, who worked in Human Resources at Nickelodeon. Finbarr was "insulted" that the crew thought he would make a believable science geek, and even after a second offer made by friend and Animation Director Andrew Overtoom, turned down the opportunity. Nick Jennings is seen instead.
- SpongeBob does not remember being in the Chum Bucket, despite already being there in "Plankton!"
- At the beginning of the episode, right when Plankton appears, there is a bottle cap laying on the ground. The logo on this bottle cap is a variation of the Pepsi logo emblem.
- Mr. Krab's singing during "This Grill Is Not a Home" is similar to Louis Armstrong.
- When SpongeBob is bathing, his sleeves are shown. This error also occurs in "Gary Takes a Bath."
- Also during the transition to this scene, the bubble transition sounds can be heard, but none of the bubbles actually appear. This error also occurs in "Mid-Life Crustacean."
- 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 surname is lowercase instead of capitalized.
- Erik Wiese's surname is also misspelled as "Weise."