A Krabby Patty is a hamburger sold by the fictional restaurant the Krusty Krab in the animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. Created by the restaurant's founder and manager Eugene Krabs, it is what the main character SpongeBob cooks throughout his job as a fry cook, and the restaurant's trademark food and most famous burger in Bikini Bottom. A prominent running gag throughout the series is Krabs' nemesis Sheldon Plankton trying to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula. This running gag was given a backstory in the special "Friend or Foe", where it is revealed that Krabs and Plankton created the Krabby Patty to compete with the health-violating restaurant Stinky Burgers.
Role in SpongeBob SquarePants
The Krabby Patty burger is a menu item sold by the Krusty Krab as a fast food product. It is considered to be one of the most successful food in Bikini Bottom. The Krabby Patty formula is a closely guarded trade secret, and rival restaurateur Plankton's futile attempts at acquiring the secret formula is a major recurring theme throughout the series. These attempts always backfire on him, but nevertheless he succeeded in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie due to Mr. Krabs' execution. The Krusty Krab usually attracts customers from Bikini Bottom because of the Krabby Patty's renowned taste and the fact that Plankton's restaurant, the Chum Bucket, has a menu consisting of mostly inedible chum. Due to the lack of viable competition, Mr. Krabs is generally free to engage in price gouging, a practice he has been known to do throughout the show. Sometimes the Krusty Krab is shown to have a drive-thru to serve krabby patties seen in the episodes "Driven to Tears" and "Drive Thru" as well as The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. It is noted by Mr. Krabs that the Krusty Krab and the Krabby Patty is clean and disease-free.
The Krabby Patty is made out of a frozen hamburger with buns, the patty, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese,, ketchup, mustard,, and onions  and with a Krabby Patty secret formula, though said secret formula has never been revealed in the series. In the episode "Just One Bite," the Krusty Krab is revealed to have a "patty vault" that contains many Krabby Patties.
The Krusty Krab's menu, the Galley Grub, consists mostly of ordinary fast food items, such as french fries and sodas. Its signature sandwich, the Krabby Patty, is celebrated, to a comic degree, by the citizens of Bikini Bottom. In The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Mr. Krabs states: "The Krabby Patty is what ties us all together! Without it, there will be a complete breakdown of social order!" The sandwich comprises two buns, with the patty, lettuce, cheese, onions, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, and pickles between them, (in that order).
The formula has been hinted at but remained a mystery throughout the series. A running gag is Plankton's obsession with obtaining it as a way to produce the sandwiches and attract customers to his across-the-street restaurant, the Chum Bucket. The recipe of the patty is a closely guarded trade secret, which have led viewers to speculate about its contents. Several fan theories have been formed to guess the secret ingredient.
According to series animator Vincent Waller, "there is absolutely no meat in the Krabby Patty. There's no animal product in there", something which was always planned by series creator Stephen Hillenburg. Mr. Lawrence, a show writer and Plankton's voice actor, explained that the show's writers are not allowed to depict fish as food; he stated that there is no meat served in Bikini Bottom except at the Chum Bucket. Tom Kenny, the voice actor for SpongeBob, joked: "Krabby Patties are hummus!" Some commentators suggest that there is actually no secret ingredient, pointing to Mr. Krabs' miserliness. A writer for Hollywood.com believes that it is "all a ruse that crafty Mr. Krabs came up with in order to stop Plankton from focusing on [t]he Chum Bucket. It's legitimately brilliant marketing!" The episode "Patty Caper" shows that there is truly a secret ingredient in the Krabby Patty, which is delivered to the restaurant with high security. On the possibility that the secret Krabby Patty formula will be revealed in future episodes, Waller said in 2017 that he "would not count on it". In 2019, Waller stated that Hillenburg, who died in 2018, is the only person to have seen it.
Publications such as USA Today have named it among other fictional foods that many have wanted to exist in real life, but according to the New York Daily News, there are four restaurants which serve a similar burger to the seen one in the show. These burgers include the Snow Crab Crispy Rice, Phuket Fantasy, Angry Crab Benedict, and Soft Shell Crab Taco.
The Krabby Patties have also inspired real life gummy confectionery treats, primarily in New England. In 2008, a doctor with Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine warned parents to be aware of where the candy their child consumes is produced due to contamination then found in Chinese milk; Spongebob Gummy Krabby Patties were among those candies produced in China. In 2019, a reporter with the student newspaper of Capital University gave the gummy candies a rating of a 2 out of 10 in their review of Halloween candy.
The Krabby Patty has been used by Katy Perry as a second costume on the red carpet at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. In The SpongeBob Musical, the Krabby Patty was portrayed by an actor on stage at the Palace Theatre. Including various Merchandise depicting Spongebob and the Krabby Patty such as HipDot and Dog Toy.
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