- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Squidward Tentacles
- Eugene H. Krabs
- Commissioner (debut)
- Oswald McNulty (debut)
- Oswald's taste buds (debut)
- Patrick Star AKA The Great Starbino
- Patrick's taste buds (debut)
- Sandy Cheeks (in a flashback)
- Larry the Lobster (in a flashback)
- Mrs. Puff (in a flashback)
- Old Man Jenkins
- Harold Bill Reginald Scott
- Fred (blue)
- Nathiel Waters
- Debbie Rechid
- Nat Peterson
- Frank (red shirt)
- Jimmy Gus
- Abigail Marge
- Susie Rechid
- Tina Fran
- Nancy Suzy Fish
- Medley Fishbowl
- Sheldon (fish)
- Billy (lime fish)
- Norma Rechid
- Martha Smith
- Officer Rob Johnson
- Jennifer Millie
- Taylor Fishbowl
- Ted's son (debut)
- Frank (muscular goldfish)
- Purple guard
- Commissioner (debut)
- Perch Perkins
The episode begins at the Krusty Krab, where the Krusty Crew are celebrating the annual Krabby Patty eating contest. Squidward tells SpongeBob 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.
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 isn't 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, 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 have one last patty to consume to win, 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 the 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, then wins the contest.
Patrick is handed the belt, and puts it on, Perch Perkins asks Patrick is he's going to enter the contest next year again, 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, then the episode ends.
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.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (e) - Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward crushed by table]
‣ Sailor's Sting 24 - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs playing accordion]
‣ Salty Krab Jig - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr ["Mr. Krabs really loves Founders Day."]
‣ Sailor's Sting 31 - Krabs sings/Krabs sings reversed
‣ Melodramatic Moments - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [No Takers for McNulty Challenge]
‣ Fates [#62] - Gregor Narholz ["I'm ruined!"]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (j) - Jeremy Wakefield [Krabs wants a competitor for the contest]
‣ Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr [Patrick orders 47 patties]
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr [Krabs gets an idea]
‣ The Krusty Krab Dilemma - Nicolas Carr ["Well, if it isn't Patrick."]
‣ Up She Rises - Sam Spence [Krabs talks about Oswald McNulty]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (d) - 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]
‣ Vibe Sting - 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 (h) - Jeremy Wakefield [Patrick's taste buds crying]
‣ ? [bill for patties eaten during training]
• Hot Steel and Slide Licks (k) - Jeremy Wakefield [bill unrolls]
‣ Melodramatic Moments - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Krabs talks Patrick into doing the contest/Patrick agrees to do 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]
- According to this episode, Patrick likes whistles.
- This episode was confirmed exactly a month before it premiered.
- The premiere of this episode did not feature the episode's credits. Instead, the credits of "Company Picnic" and "Pull Up a Barrel" appeared.
- This episode premiered 16 years after "The Chaperone" and "Employee of the Month," and five years after "The Masterpiece" and "Whelk Attack."
- This episode was Joe Wierenga's first episode to storyboard.
- This is the second episode where a character's taste buds are seen. The first is "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!"
- And it is the second time the taste buds were animated.
- This is the second episode where Patrick uses his mouth to vacuum up Krabby Patties. The first is "Pat No Pay."
- Rocky series - There are a few references to this series. Some include SpongeBob's training hat and the music that plays when Patrick is going around town.
- The Great Starbino is a reference to Babe Ruth's nickname, The Great Bambino.
- The episode's title is a reference to the 1993 drama film What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
- 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’s 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