When a secret ingredient for the Krabby Patty is stolen, SpongeBob takes it upon himself to figure out who took it.
Patty Caper shows examples of:
- Bad Boss: Mr. Krabs, who stole his own secret ingredient and tried to frame SpongeBob for it, just to save $1.99.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Mr. Krabs is made to watch Krabby Patties get sold for free for stealing his own secret ingredient all because he wanted to save $1.99.
- Everyone Laughs Ending: The police laugh while making Mr. Krabs watch krabby patties being sold.
- Forced to Watch: The police force Mr. Krabs to watch SpongeBob giving away free Krabby Patties.
- Foreshadowing: At the beginning, Mr. Krabs shows SpongeBob the bottle to the missing secret ingredient. Later when he shows the bottle again, it is revealed he stole it himself.
- Get Out!: After walking out of his house, Squidward says this to SpongeBob and Patrick, picks up his house, moves it away from them, and finally walks back inside.
- Not Me This Time: Plankton didn't steal the formula, Krabs did it.
- Stupid Evil: Just when Mr. Krabs is about to have SpongeBob arrested, he ends up pointing at him with the stolen secret ingredient itself, which results in him having to confess everything. Even if he did get away with framing SpongeBob, he just got rid of the only fry cook who could make the Krabby Patties with the secret ingredient that he went through the trouble of trying to save $1.99 on. Clearly Mr. Krabs Did Not Think This Through, at least not with who he should have framed.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Mr. Krabs was absolutely at his worst. This is mostly evident when he frames SpongeBob, his own fry cook, for stealing the secret ingredient and almost landed him in jail.
- Villainous Breakdown: Mr. Krabs was punished to watch Krabby Patties getting sold for free for steal his own secret ingredient. He screams in horror as he watches SpongeBob giving Krabby Patties to Krabs loyal customers.
When someone actually prefers Plankton's chum over Krabby Patties, Mr. Krabs takes it upon himself to change their mind.
Plankton's Regular shows examples of:
- Ascended Extra: The fish that shows up at the Chum Bucket.
- Determinator: Even though his rival Plankton has one customer, Mr. Krabs wants him out of the picture.
- Evil Is Petty: Even though Mr. Krabs already has more than enough customers than Plankton, Mr. Krabs deliberately attempts to make him lose that one customer out of sheer spite, and to monopolize Bikini Bottom's fast food industry.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Why Mr. Krabs wants Plankton's regular customer because he wants Plankton's business to fail as usual. It also doesn't hurt that somehow SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs can make "better" chum than Plankton.
- Foreshadowing: Nat said this after eating The Krusty Krabs' chum.Nat: It's the second foulest thing I ever tasted!
- The Freelance Shame Squad: In the ending, Mr. Krabs delights in watching Plankton crying over not having a regular customer.
- Irony: Lampshaded by Plankton who catches Mr. Krabs trying to steal the Chum Bucket secret formula just like when Plankton tries to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After getting sabotaged in his efforts of getting a regular customer, Plankton rightfully rewards Krabs and SpongeBob by trapping them with giant spoons.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: A big one for Plankton. It's revealed that the customer was paid by Karen to eat in the Chum Bucket so Plankton would stop complaining about his lack of success, but he couldn't eat more chum anymore, regardless of the money (they already pumped his stomach many times).