Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"What's Eating Patrick?" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 9. In this episode, Patrick enters a Krabby Patty eating competition in order to defend Bikini Bottom's honor.



The episode begins at the Krusty Krab, where the Krusty Crew is celebrating the annual Krabby Patty eating contest. Squidward tells SpongeBob that Mr. Krabs only cares about the profits as SpongeBob disbelieves that explanation, but Mr. Krabs quickly confirms to SpongeBob that Squidward's reason as to why he is so overjoyed is correct. Mr. Krabs explains that this is the time of the year where he gets the most money due to him being the supplier of the Krabby Patties. An unbeatable challenger named Oswald McNulty has won every Krabby Patty eating contest, and beaten every single city champion except Bikini Bottom. Mr. Krabs gets excited before Squidward tells him he only has to sell one patty as the latter questions the meaning of this.

Mr. Krabs selling Patrick stuff to people.

Squidward berates his boss for not reading the paper and shows it to him to and reveal only one patty is needed. Mr. Krabs is devastated by the news, as he believes he is not going to get any revenue until he sees Patrick, who comes in to order 47 Krabby Patties as a light lunch while stupidly mistaking a broom for Squidward. Taking advantage of Patrick's naïve nature, Mr. Krabs then proposes that Patrick becomes the next Krabby Patty eating champion, and Patrick agrees. After Patrick takes too long eating, Mr. Krabs sees how McNulty eats the patty by not chewing. He then begins Patrick's training by making him eat Krabby Patties without tasting them, to his sadness and SpongeBob's worry. While training, he sees a young boy with a broken foot with his father. The father's son asks Patrick a question, and Patrick tries to answer, but Mr. Krabs tells the crowd to see him at the Krusty Krab.

The contest is about to start, the crowd is outside of the Krusty Krab and two guards carry Oswald, who is sitting on a chair being lifted by the guards, then the crowd starts booing, including the boy with the broken foot and his father.

The contest is shortly going to start, and when SpongeBob asks the competitors if they are ready, Patrick says he does not want to do it. SpongeBob says, "Well then don't do it, I'm sure Mr. Krabs will understand.", but Mr. Krabs hears this. He then gives Patrick a bill, listing the Krabby Patties Patrick ate for training. He says that they have just become plain eating patties, and Mr. Krabs says if he does the contest he will not have to pay the bill, then Mr. Krabs points to the crowd cheering for Patrick and the boy with a broken foot is in the crowd, so Patrick says that he will do it for him. Then Mr. Krabs tears up the bill.

The contest begins, and Oswald is eating the patties already, but Patrick is struggling and is barely eating any of the patties. Patrick looks at the crowd, seeing the boy with the broken foot cheering Patrick on. Patrick becomes encouraged by that, and then eats a whole entire plate of patties. Oswald starts eating faster, both of them start eating faster, all until they are tied at 999 patties eaten with one minute left until the contest ends, but both stop. Oswald falls from his chair. Patrick tells SpongeBob he cannot continue, but SpongeBob reminds Patrick of the taste, then Patrick gets encouraged to eat one last Krabby Patty to win. Patrick then points to the boy with a broken foot, and the boy gives Patrick the last patty. Patrick eats the patty before the minute is up, then wins the contest.

Patrick is handed the belt, and puts it on. Perch Perkins asks Patrick if he is going to enter the contest again next year, but Patrick says no, and says the belt does not even fit. The belt flies out when Patrick puts it on, then it hits the boy with the broken foot off-screen and breaks his other foot, as the episode ends.


On May 29, 2015, Sherm Cohen released two storyboard images from this episode. It should be noted that at the time of their release, it was unknown which episode they belonged to.[2][3]

Rough storyboards for this episode

Backgrounds for this episode

Vincent Waller confirmed the episode on Twitter on September 2, 2015.[4]

On October 2, 2015, Adam Paloian released a storyboard image from this episode.[5]

Tumblr nvm6yneIou1u1wgwdo1 1280.png

In the storyboard version, in the scene where Patrick is starting training when the scene enters Patrick's mouth to show his taste buds, it shows his mouth and then the taste buds. In the final version, it shows Patrick's tongue instead of his mouth.


 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Coconut Cream Pie Dry - Nicolas Carr, Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [title card]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 17A - Jeremy Wakefield [barrel starts rolling]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 17D - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward crushed by table]
  Mr Krabs Happy Jig Short Version - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs playing accordion]
  Salty Krab Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["Mr. Krabs really loves Founders Day."]
  Mr Krabs Happy Jig Pt 2 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs singing reversed]
  Melodramatic Moments - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [No Takers for McNulty Challenge]
  Fates [#62] - Gregor Narholz ["I'm ruined!"]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 8B - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs wants a competitor for the contest]
  ? Vibes - Nicolas Carr [Patrick orders 47 patties]
  Great Idea Patrick - Nicolas Carr [Krabs gets an idea]
  The Krusty Krab Dilema 2 - Nicolas Carr ["Well, if it isn't Patrick."]
  Up She Rises - Sam Spence [Krabs talks about Oswald McNulty]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 11D - Jeremy Wakefield ["...return the belt to Bikini Bottom."]
  The Irish Patriot - Sam Spence ["You're going up against the best, so you have to be the best."]
  The Fruitcake Vendor - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [Patrick warming up his taste buds]
  Evil Atmosphere - Clive Richardson [film of McNulty]
  Idea Vibe - Nicolas Carr ["He's not tasting, boys."]
  The Irish Patriot - Sam Spence [Krabs wants Patrick to swallow without tasting]
  Whatever It Takes - Sam Spence [training montage]
  Super Highway March - Nicolas Carr, Barry Anthony [crowd outside Krusty Krab]
  A Chilling Championship - Sam Spence ["Five short minutes to consume as many patties as they can."]
  Melodramatic Moments - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["I smell mutiny."]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 9A - Jeremy Wakefield [Patrick's taste buds crying]
  ? [bill for patties eaten during training]
  Hot Steel and Slide Licks 24A - Jeremy Wakefield [bill unrolls]
  Melodramatic Moments - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs talks Patrick into doing the contest.]
  Up She Rises - Sam Spence [contest begins]
  Prelude To Conflict - Sam Fonteyn [Patrick and McNulty are tied]
  Empire - Sam Spence ["Down goes McNulty!"]
  Now Is The Time (a) - David Robidoux [little boy gives Patrick his patty]
  Honolulu March - Hans Haider [Patrick wins the contest]




Cultural references

  • The episode's title references the 1993 drama film What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
  • Rocky series - There are a few references to the film franchise, including SpongeBob's training hat and the music that plays when Patrick is going around town.
  • The Great Starbino references Babe Ruth's nickname, The Great Bambino.


  • In the Polish dub, SpongeBob's line "Mr. Krabs really loves Founders Day!" is translated to "Mr. Squidward really loves Founders Day!"
  • When Mr. Krabs reverses his backflips, he is actually saying, "Patties must be made. Oh, I wonder, wonder, wonder" backwards instead of "Oh, I wonder wonder wonder how many Patties must be made" backwards.

Black and white title card.

  • When Patrick struggles to finish the Krabby Patties during the Krabby Patty Contest, they only fill up his mouth. But when he weakly flops on the table, they fill up his whole head.
  • In the German dub, the title card appears black and white for a second.
  • When Mr. Krabs realizes that Patrick should join the competition the text on the order here sign is missing, this error is later fixed.

Version with error.

Version without error.