Business is unusually slow at the Krusty Krab. A customer soon arrives to get change for a dollar though only in coins. With unfortunate results, Mr. Krabs calls SpongeBob and Squidward into his office, and tells him that profits are down and that they need a gimmick in order to bring in customers. Squidward suggests that the Krusty Krab hold a talent show, intending to showcase his talent, and Mr. Krabs agrees. SpongeBob is very eager to participate in the show after practicing a tap-dancing routine with a Hippo bubble, but for some unknown reason, possibly because that he hates him, Squidward tells him that he has no talent and refuses to let him go on. When the night of the show arrives, it is a major success, attracting a full house of customers.
Acts include Pearl, who performs a cheerleading routine, and whose massive weight causes the floor to shake whenever she jumps up and down, Plankton performs a magic trick, which is actually an attempt to steal a Krabby Patty, and Gary, who recites a poem that, to the viewer, consists entirely of indiscernible meowing, among others. Backstage, SpongeBob begs Squidward to be in the show, and Squidward gives him the duty of mopping up after the show, which he accepts enthusiastically.
The grand finale of the show is Squidward's act, which the audience quickly hates. They begin throwing tomatoes from the free salad bar at him, and Mr. Krabs who is seeing opportunity in this, puts a price on the salad bar ($1.00 for each tomato), which the customers willingly pay as they continue to hit Squidward with tomatoes. Eventually, Squidward furiously leaves the stage, and tells SpongeBob that the show is now over. SpongeBob goes onstage and begins mopping up the mess, which the audience enjoys and starts cheering. Squidward, thinking they are cheering for him, goes back onstage, but is ignored.
He soon realizes that the audience is cheering for only SpongeBob, and tries to mimic him, but they invariably cheer for SpongeBob and ignore Squidward. He eventually gives up and goes backstage as SpongeBob is showered with applauses. Mr. Krabs approaches Squidward in a wheelbarrow of money from the salad bar, and tells him that he will need another wheelbarrow for next week's show.