"The Froggy Apple Crumple Thumpkin" is the pilot and episode 1a of Season 3 of Chowder.
If Chowder can survive making a very complicated dish, he's on his way to becoming a chef. But the last step may be the one that finally breaks him.
The episode begins with Chowder receiving two bags from Gazpacho, and running home with through Marzipan City. them. Within a few minutes, he starts to get tired, then sees a piston salesman. He uses a piston as a spring and bounces back to Mung Daal’s Catering. Meanwhile, Truffles is taking an order for a customer and gets frustrated when she finds out they don’t know how to spell the name of the dish. She calls for Mung to get the order, but he tells her to bring it to her. Chowder crashes through the roof just at that time, so Truffles gives the order to him.
Chowder brings in the bags and the order. Mung notices the grocery bags are rather small and Chowder admits to snacking "a little" on the way home and proceeds to regurgitate mounds of food and a marching band. Mung announces that the order is for a "Froggy Apple Crumple Thumpkin" and, against Schnitzel's wishes, has Chowder assist him. As it has been a few centuries since Mung has made this advanced dish, he decides to consult the Really Really Really Big Book of Recipes; a cookbook about two stories tall, before beginning.
In the first step, Mung introduces Chowder to an ingredient known as the No-fruit. On tasting it, Chowder complains that it has no flavor. Mung shows that pulling the fruit's leaves causes it to start cycling through several kinds of fruit. Tapping it at just the right time, Mung causes it to change into an extremely flavorful apple. Mung, Schnitzel and Chowder start tapping several no-fruits, though one fruit tapped by Chowder turns into a hideous little monster that latches onto Schnitzel's face. After a brief struggle, Schnitzel manages to pull it off, and it tumbles into a corner of the kitchen. "I think that's enough apples," Mung concludes step 1.
During the second step, Mung says that they have to prepare the meat, which is a twelve-legged cave frog. He gives it to Chowder to put into the chipper-chopper. Chowder pours it in right before Mung says that they should remove the explosive sting sack first or the whole thing would be ruined. Chowder gets nervous and starts pressing buttons on the chipper chopper, and the dish seems to come out okay, until the stink sack comes out also. He tastes the stink sack, but it releases fumes and starts beeping. Chowder throws it behind him when Mung comes over, it sticks to Shnitzel's back and explodes causing Mung to remark on Schnitzel's diet.
During the eighth step, Chowder throws a barrel down a slide and Shnitzel stabs a giant pin through it from a trapeze, releasing a spray of wine into a giant pot that Mung stirs. In step twenty-three, Chowder tries to reach for a high cupboard and Shnitzel helps him; however, the monster is in there, and it clings onto Shnitzel’s face again. In step forty-six, Shnitzel jumps up and down on a bellows to get a stoke up the fire in the stove. In step fifty-two, they all drink juice boxes, and Mung starts choking on his.
On the sixty-eighth and final step, they must beat the dish at thumb wrestling. The customer comes for the dish and Truffles asked Mung if it is ready. Mung struggles against the dish and tags in Chowder. At first, Chowder panics and runs away with the dish chasing around the kitchen until Mung reminds Chowder that before a chef serves a dish he must always taste it. Chowder turns and bites the dish, beating it. However, Chowder gets carried away and tries to devour the whole thing. Luckily, the dish flees into the hands of the customer and as he runs away with it while Mung does his best to hold Chowder back. Mung observes that the whole thing went well and Truffles agrees.
Chowder then eats the background and leaves.
- Kids: (wearily) Step 68.
One Kid: (whining) I wanna go home!
- Truffles: Who is the chef here, you or me?... No, I am the chef's wife!
- Mung: So I'll need you to stay focused at- Get back over here!
- Differences between the Pilot and later episodes:
- This episode is presented in a soft matte (open matte) which modifies itself for full screen and widescreen versions like movies from the early 80's to the late 2000's. From Chowder's Girlfriend and onward, they changed to a hard matte, meaning that it is only built on a matte for widescreen presentations. Full screen presentations of these later episodes are in a Pan & Scan format.
- Schnitzel was originally voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson in the Pilot before being replaced by John DiMaggio during the transition into a full-fledged series. Kevin Michael Richardson later returned to the series, however, as the voice of the Lead Farfel.
- Schnitzel's pattern in the pilot is different from later episodes. His pattern consisted of squiggles and swirls as opposed to straight streaks across his body.
- Chowder's design in the pilot stemmed from his original concept; "a fat, shy kid who often hid low in his oversized collar and wore his pants on his head." His proportions were much more squashed together than in later episodes and his clothes were much more oversized. As well, his head was much smaller.
- Chowder's single sharp tooth overlapped his other teeth.
- Mung Daal had a longer mustache and his facial features were significantly less exaggerated. The sides of his glasses were white and, when blinking, he lacked eyelids; only his pupils blinked.
- Gazpacho, who was only seen briefly, lacked any patterns in his design and had more violet clothing.
- Truffles lacked any gradient in her eyes and her dress was also a flat-green dress as opposed to a patterned one.
- The room where Truffles mans the cash register was all purple.
- When the clip for the ingredients is slowed down, it shows:
- Parsley with butter and butter knives on top
- A man measuring a large man's waist
- A drawing of a dog
- A farmer's market
- A dog on a beach ball
- A pet rock
- Poorly drawn pictures
- Cats playing instruments
- Cups of coffee
- A painting of people holding a crab
- Face of a teenager
- Bowls of chowder
- A toy robot
- A man in a strange costume
- A blue ball
- Santa Claus
- A painting of a tomato with a smiley face holding a pan and in a jar
- Sketches of various items
- A Triforce (From Nintendo's Zelda series)
- An NES controller
- The acid-spitting bug No-fruit monster made a final reappearance in the next episode, "Chowder's Girlfriend".
- The stained glass transition in the opening sequence was "tricky" for the animators.
- In the original pilot, Gorgonzola waved to Chowder when he ran past him and was originally going to be Chowder's best friend.
- When Mung notices Chowder regurgitating all of the food he was sent to pick up and the mess he's made as a result, he asks Schnitzel to clean it. Schnitzel proceeds to remove the entire scene from its frame and shakes the mess out of it, leaving it spotless, before re-attaching the scene.
- At the end of the episode, Chowder eats the scene before exiting stage left.
- During step 8 of the Froggy Apple Crumple Thumpkin recipe, when the shot of Truffles doing a drum roll pans out, an empty void appears where the texture in Truffles' hair should be.
- ↑ "The original concept of Chowder was a fat, shy kid who often hid low in his oversized collar and wore his pants on his head." Nerd Armada. Retrieved May 17, 2017.