The Chum Bucket is the restaurant owned by Sheldon Plankton and Karen Plankton in SpongeBob SquarePants, located right across the street from the Krusty Krab. The Chum Bucket is incredibly unpopular, and its lack of business is due primarily to the good food served at the Krusty Krab and the awful food at the Chum Bucket.
To increase the restaurant's business, Plankton and Karen are constantly trying to steal the "secret recipe" for the Krusty Krab's popular Krabby Patty burger. They always fail, except in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, when Karen gives Plankton the first-ever successful plan to steal the secret formula.
Although both Plankton and Karen operate the restaurant, episodes such as "Krabby Road" and "Plankton Gets the Boot" show that Karen is the one in charge of the building. She has used her authority to kick Plankton out of the Chum Bucket on several occasions.
All of the food served at the Chum Bucket is made of chum (chopped fish used as fishing bait), where the name of the restaurant comes from. Most items on the restaurant's menu begin with the word "chum" (e.g. chumbalaya instead of jambalaya).
- Chum Burger
- Chum Fries
- Chum Shake
- Chum on a Stick
- Chum Chili
- Chum Pie
- Chum Stir Fry
- Chummy Joes
- Spicy Chum Surprise
- Chum Cherry Blast
- Bucket Bubbler
- Chum Nuggets
- Chum Bucket Supreme
- Chum Yum!
- Chum Puddle
- Chum Loaf
- Chum Balls
- Chummy Patties
- Crispity Crunchities
- Chum Fricassee
- Raspberry Iced Tea
- Bran Muffin
- Prune Danish
Plankton first opened the Chum Bucket after arch-rival Eugene Krabs discovered the Krabby Patty secret recipe and converted an ailing nursing home into a popular undersea burger joint that it is today. It is not known why he opened his restaurant following these significant events, however, judging by his evil ways, it is presumed that Plankton wanted to rule the world and wanted to do this by stealing and selling the Krabby Patties, therefore bringing lots of people into the restaurant and ultimately ruling the world (as depicted in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie).
Another theory was that Mr. Krabs and Plankton were once college roommates and that Krabs accidentally squished Plankton constantly (according to a two-page comic strip titled Plankton: The College Years printed in "Nickelodeon Magazine Presents the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie"). It is estimated that Plankton thought that his future enemy was trying to kill him and due to Krabs' greediness and advantages over Plankton (particularly when he discovered the Krabby Patty secret formula and decided to sell it), Plankton's jealousy of Krabs only grew stronger and when The Krusty Krab first came into being, The Chum Bucket was somehow built and opened by Plankton, so that he could start stealing the secret formula which Krabs refused to give away and soon start an ever-lasting rivalry between the two restaurants. This may be the reason why he hates his arch-rival so much and why he constantly reminds him that "he went to college". It is unknown where Plankton had lived before his restaurant first opened.
- SpongeBob SquarePants - recruited from The Krusty Krab after Mr. Krabs lost a card game to Plankton. He was later returned to the rival restaurant after SpongeBob became too much for Plankton.
- Patrick Star - hired by Plankton five minutes before the Fry Cook Games after a dispute with SpongeBob. He abandoned the job at the end of the event after SpongeBob and Patrick both found out that they really cared about each other.
- Stanley SquarePants - A cousin of SpongeBob's that screws up everything he touches that was hired by Plankton to work at the Chum Bucket.
The Chum Bucket usually barely has any customers due to Plankton's evil ways and because the Krusty Krab is much better than his ailing restaurant. Who knows how Plankton keeps his restaurant open, in which it is also his residence with his computer wife, Karen.
In the beginning of the episode "Enemy In-Law", a giant Plankton-shaped robot named Chum-Bot kidnaps citizens of Bikini Bottom and deposits them into the Chum Bucket so that Plankton can sell them his food.
However, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was the only time that The Chum Bucket was highly popular, after a series of incidents planned and caused by him which involved the near-execution of Mr. Krabs by King Neptune left Plankton to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula and sell Krabby Patties, therefore filling the void left by The Krusty Krab and even selling bucket helmets, only to turn them into his slaves as soon as Squidward exposed his evil plans. It is not known what happened to his restaurant after he was arrested.
The Chum Bucket opens 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday (the same as the Krusty Krab) with the exception of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Fear of a Krabby Patty" when the restaurant opened 23 hours a day, resulting in its major competitor to stay open for 24 hours.
Appearances in video games
- The SpongeBob joystick game by Jakks Pacific has a Chum Bucket minigame.
- In SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob battles robotic versions of himself and Plankton in the Chum Bucket.
- There are three mini-games in SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants! that take place at the Chum Bucket: "Machine Meltdown", "Surface Tension", and "Charge!"