Krusty Krab

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The Krusty Krab
Krusty Krab 230b.png
SeriesSpongeBob SquarePants
TypeFast food restaurant
First appearance"Help Wanted"
LocationBikini Bottom
OwnerEugene H. Krabs
Slogan"Come Spend Your Money Here!"[1]

The Krusty Krab is a fast food restaurant in the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. It is famous for its signature sandwich, the Krabby Patty, the formula to which is a closely guarded trade secret.

It was founded by Eugene H. Krabs, who is also the owner and manager. It has two full-time employees: SpongeBob SquarePants, who works as the fry cook; and Squidward Tentacles, who works as the cashier. It is a rival of the Chum Bucket, the across-the-street restaurant of Krabs' nemesis and former best friend, Plankton.

The Krusty Krab first appeared on television in the series' pilot episode, "Help Wanted". Outside the show, the Krusty Krab has appeared in other media, such as film and video games. The fictional restaurant has also inspired merchandise and real-life establishments.

Role in SpongeBob SquarePants[edit]

Inside the restaurant, showing Squidward taking orders at the cash register and various characters eating their Krabby Patties

The Krusty Krab is a prominent fast food restaurant in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. It is owned and operated by Mr. Krabs, who invented its famous Krabby Patty sandwich.[2] Located across the street from the Krusty Krab is the Chum Bucket, a struggling restaurant owned by Krabs' rival and former best friend, Plankton.[2] Plankton's futile attempts at stealing the secret Krabby Patty recipe to replicate the burgers and put the Krusty Krab out of business is a major plot point throughout the series.

The Krusty Krab usually attracts customers from Bikini Bottom because of the Krabby Patty's renowned taste and the fact that Plankton's restaurant has a menu consisting of mostly inedible chum.[3] As a result, the Krusty Krab has become one of the most successful restaurants in the city.[4] Mr. Krabs frequently exploits his restaurant's popularity, engaging in price gouging.[5] Aside from Mr. Krabs, the restaurant has two full-time employees: Squidward Tentacles, the cashier; and SpongeBob SquarePants, the fry cook. Patrick Star has also worked at the Krusty Krab for several very brief stints in a variety of positions.

The Krusty Krab building was originally a retirement home called the Rusty Krab until Mr. Krabs acquired and converted it into a restaurant.[4] (The Krusty Krab was also the name of a pirate ship owned by Mr. Krabs before he entered the food business.[6]) The restaurant has seen many temporary changes, such as operating 24/7 and being transformed into a hotel, which have been the focus of many episodes.

Krabby Patty[edit]

The Krusty Krab's menu, the Galley Grub, consists mostly of ordinary fast food items such as french fries and sodas but its signature sandwich, the Krabby Patty, has always been the favorite of every character in Bikini Bottom.[7] In fact, in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, the unavailability of Krabby Patties causes the whole of Bikini Bottom to become ravenous. According to Mr. Krabs in the film, "The Krabby Patty is what ties us all together! Without it, there will be a complete breakdown of social order!"

The sandwich is composed of two buns with the patty, lettuce, cheese, onions, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, and pickles between them.[8] The recipe of the patty is a closely guarded trade secret, which have led some viewers and fans of the show to speculate about its contents.[9] It has been suggested in a viral Internet fan theory that the Krabby Patty is made up of crab meat and fish, which would render Mr. Krabs and the other characters cannibals.[7] Some fans are compelled by the arguments behind the theory, which are: the absence of other crab characters on the show besides Mr. Krabs and his mother; the resemblance of the building to a crab trap; and the fact that the products in the menu take their name from their key ingredients, such as the "kelp shake".[10][11]

On Instagram, Nickelodeon debunked the theory, posting "We can 100 percent confirm Krabby Patties are not made of crabs."[11] According to showrunner Vincent Waller, "there is absolutely no meat in the Krabby Patty," which is what series creator Stephen Hillenburg has always planned.[12] Mr. Lawrence, show writer and Plankton's voice actor, said "that is so dumb. It's vegetarian! It's always been vegetarian. It's never been meat. They're underwater, there's no burgers down there." He also revealed that only the Chum Bucket serves meat in Bikini Bottom.[11] Tom Kenny, who provides the voice of SpongeBob, joked: "Krabby Patties are hummus!"[11]

Another Internet fan theory about the secret formula has gone viral, in which it supposes that the secret ingredient contains a drug called "King Neptune's Poseidon Powder" (cocaine), which explains why the Krabby Patty is addictive.[7][13][14] However, some viewers are not convinced with the theory—since Mr. Krabs is cheap—suggesting instead that there is actually no secret ingredient. said, "It's all a ruse that crafty Mr. Krabs came up with in order to stop Plankton from focusing on The Chum Bucket. It’s legitimately brilliant marketing!"[15]


The Krusty Krab's design is based on a lobster trap.

Along with SpongeBob's pineapple house, the Krusty Krab was intended to be where "the show would return to again and again, and in which most of the action would take place".[16] It debuted in "Help Wanted", the series premiere, and has since appeared in more than 80 percent of the episodes as of 2018.[17]

The Krusty Krab can be derived from series creator Stephen Hillenburg's time as a fry cook and lobster boiler[18] at a fast-food seafood restaurant[19] during a few summers after finishing high school.[19] SpongeBob's occupation was directly based on this experience,[18] while Mr. Krabs was inspired by Hillenburg's manager at the restaurant.[20][21] However, the restaurant owner was not greedy, with this detail added by Hillenburg to "give him more personality."[20]

When Stephen Hillenburg first created Mr. Krabs, his surname was spelled with a C rather than a K. Thus, the name of the restaurant was the "Crusty Crab". Hillenburg changed the spelling shortly before production began on the show's pilot episode, deciding that K's were funnier and more memorable.[22] He based the building's design on a lobster trap.[23]

Cultural impact[edit]

The Krusty Krab has been referenced in other shows, such as in Robot Chicken.[24] On the Internet, the enmity between the Krusty Krab and the Chum Bucket has also been turned into memes.[25][26] In 2016, Time magazine listed the Krusty Krab as one of the most influential and important fictional companies in the world.[27] Numerous publications—including BuzzFeed,[28] the New York Daily News,[29] Screen Rant,[30] and the food website The Daily Meal[31]—have included the Krusty Krab in their lists that catalog fictional restaurants they wish were real. In another list published by The Daily Meal in 2013, the Krusty Krab was voted number one "[o]f all the fictional spots currently on TV that our readers wished they could dine at".[32]


The Krusty Krab has been included and featured prominently in many SpongeBob SquarePants toys, publications, and other merchandise. The Lego Group has released two Lego sets modeled after the Krusty Krab building. The first, released in 2006,[33] can be displayed along with the other sets in the SpongeBob SquarePants Lego theme to form the Bikini Bottom setting. A recreation of this set was released in 2009, called "Krusty Krab Adventures".[34][35] The show's parent company, Viacom, has earned millions of dollars on licensed products that bear the Krusty Krab name, mainly aquarium figurines and children's play sets.[17]

Real-life versions[edit]


External images
View of the exterior of Salta Burgers' real-life Krusty Krab replica in Ramallah
Scene inside the building with tables, chairs, cash register booth, and other detailing similar to the cartoon

The Krusty Krab has inspired several real-life establishments, most of them abroad but none is authorized by Nickelodeon or its parent company, Viacom. In Santa Elena, Costa Rica, a Krusty Krab imitation opened in 2012 but closed a year later.[36] In 2014, it was widely reported[37] that a company called Salta Burgers was constructing a restaurant in Ramallah, Palestine modeled exactly after the Krusty Krab building;[38][39] it opened to the public on July 24, 2014,[40] serving seafood as well as its own version of the Krabby Patty.[36][39][41] As of 2017, the restaurant is still in operation.[42] Another real-life version of the Krusty Krab opened in Moscow in 2016, called "The Krusty Krab Cafe", which also sells unofficial Krabby Patties.[43] A similarly named "KrustyKrub Cafe" opened in Davao City, Philippines in 2017; although not a replica as the establishment in Moscow, it is a Krusty Krab-themed coffee shop serving Krabby Patty-inspired sandwiches.[44]

In January 2016, Viacom sued IJR Capital Investment after learning that it had applied to trademark the Krusty Krab name at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in December 2014,[45] which got approved.[45][17] The latter was planning to open two restaurants in Houston and Los Angeles adopting the moniker.[17] In the lawsuit it filed against IJR, Viacom claimed the proposed restaurants would be an infringement, even though Viacom had not filed a formal trademark for the Krusty Krab name.[46] IJR's owner, Javier Ramos Jr., said that he thought of the name, referring to "the crust that sticks to the top of crabs when they are put in a seafood boil".[17] He claimed not to have heard of the Krusty Krab in SpongeBob SquarePants, and chose it after checking Google and finding no restaurants using that name.[47] A Texas federal judge ruled in January 2017 that IJR violated Viacom's rights to the SpongeBob property,[45][48][49] citing "ownership of a trademark is established by use, not by registration."[45] The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decided in May 2018 that Viacom deserves trademark protection for the Krusty Krab, and that IJR cannot use it.[17][47] According to the Houston Press, "The long arm of U.S. trademark law doesn't reach across international waters. Every country has its own filing process that must be followed."[50] Complex said, "There's one in Palestine, and there's really nothing Viacom can do about it."[51]

San Diego Comic-Con 2019[edit]

In celebration of SpongeBob's 20th anniversary, Nickelodeon recreated the Krusty Krab building at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.[52][53] Attendees can play in an interactive game inside the Krusty Krab, in which they must complete food orders before running out of time.[54][55] Nickelodeon's 1,800-square-foot (170 m2) booth[54] at the event is dedicated to the show[52] and also features replicas of Mrs. Puff's Boating School and the Chum Bucket, which stands 22 feet (6.7 m) tall and where attendees can buy collectibles and have autographs from the cast members.[54][55]


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