The Emperor's New Joe is episode 2a of season 3 of the series.
The story of the Chameleon Brothers and their coffee scandal in the old country of Balzack.
Rocko is working at Kind of a Lot-O-Comics when he sees visits the Chameleon brothers' new coffee shop named Cafe Chameleon and Heffer offers him a cup of coffee. When Rocko takes a sip, he is disgusted at the swill they insist on calling coffee. So the Chameleon brothers take him to the back and tell him a long story about their stay in Balzack, a country far from O-Town.
The story begins with the citizens of Balzack playing volleyball and accidentally tossing the ball into the emperor's yard, which is replete with all the other thrown balls as well. They lived in fear of a fashion-crazed king (played by Heffer), in which Chuck and Leon are the servants to. They give the king a square-styled haircut and he tells the citizens of Balzack via intercom that he is instituting the new hairstyle. The citizens end up satisfying the king everyday until one day, the king reads an ad of coffee via magazine and says that he wants the citizens to drink coffee, only for the Chameleon brothers to remind him that coffee is not prevalent in Balzack. So the king sends the two in the dungeon until he gets some. In the dungeon, they spot another prisoner (played by Filburt) washing socks with brown sludge. When the Chameleon brothers find the prisoner using the sludge as coffee to drink, they get an idea. Following their freedom from the dungeon, they offer the king a taste of their homemade coffee, which the king pretends to find delicious. So the Chameleon brothers are asked to make coffee for the fashion-crazed king and eventually manage to do it, using dirty socks. The king had his wish fulfilled, the people of Balzack had their coffee, and the Chameleon brothers narrowly avoided life imprisonment. They escape via ship and arrive in America with socks on their feet. They used the socks and a few donations offered by Heffer, thus creating the Chameleon brothers' coffee craze. When Rocko finds out, he refuses their plea to give the coffee a second chance at an attempt to save their business and makes a long speech to convince them that it's not a good idea. They end up throwing him out from annoyance and tell him to come back tomorrow to try the cheesecake. Through the back door, a customer complains that he isn't eating cheesecake, and the Chameleon brothers tell him a story of the cheesecake, implying that the bad food and drink was all a scam.
- Heffer/The Mighty Czar
- Filburt/The Royal Sock Washer
- Ed Bighead/Edwardovich
- Bev Bighead/Bev's Ballzack Counterpart
- Really Really Big Man/RRBM's Ballzack Counterpart
- The episode and its title are a reference to "The Emperor's New Clothes." Ed made a further reference by saying "The king, he's naked!"
- "Joe", used in the title, is popular slang for coffee.
- The first and only episode to focus on the Chameleon Brothers. Since they don't have their own credit artwork, the artwork featuring Rocko and Spunky is used instead. Episodes with the Rocko and Spunky artwork focus on the society of O-Town.
- The Chameleon brothers cafe is a beatnik jazz cafe.
- The Chameleon brothers fix the emperor's hair to look like pop singer Grace Jones' hair in the 80s.
- It is revealed in this episode that the Chameleon brothers are not originally from O-Town.
- "Balzac" sounds similar to "ball sack", a possible innuendo.
- The Thomas Jefferson quote that Rocko states in full (the bold is what was said in the episode) is: "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."