->Visit the main page [[WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants here]].
-->For tropes A to C see [[SpongeBobSquarePants/TropesAToC here]].
-->For tropes D to I see [[SpongeBobSquarePants/TropesDToI here]].
-->For tropes Q to Z see [[SpongeBobSquarePants/TropesQToZ here]].
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* {{Jerkass}}: Practically everyone in the show at some time or the other, with Mr. Krabs and Squidward being the most prominent examples.
** In "Keep Bikini Bottom Beautiful", a cop follows Squidward around and continuously slams tickets into his face for even being ''near'' a pile of garbage.
** Patrick becomes one of these any time he gets a taste of power or some sort of reassurance of his "genius" abilities. (The episode where he gets a boat, when he becomes king, the time when his parents come over, etc.) Any other time, he's just TheDitz taken to its LogicalExtreme.
** Even the normally sympathetic Mrs. Puff becomes one in "Demolition Doofus" as she tries to outright MURDER Spongebob!
* JerkassGods: Neptune, usually
** Especially in "The Clash Of Triton" where he traps his son in a cage for wanting to meddle in the lives of mortals instead of smiting them, but he gets better.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Arguably Squidward and Mr Krabs [[DependingOnTheWriter on their better days]].
* JoinsToFitIn: Squidward's whole reason for leaving his own neighborhood and moving to Tentacle Acres.
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind: The dream version in the episode "Sleepy Time." Naturally, Spongebob managed to ruin the dreams of everyone in Bikini Bottom, and he awoke to find a group of annoyed friends and neighbors, insisting he stay out of their dreams because they get enough of him during the day.
* JumpScare '''''"Hi, mailman!"'''''
* JustFriends: [=SpongeBob=] apparently has a crush on Sandy. This isn't very noticeable within the show itself, but supplemental materials place special emphasis on it. A survival guide released in 2002 played with the fact, [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Sponge_Is_Straight_by_helgoth11_5659.jpg hinting at the crush being "secret"]].
** Sandy's official biography states that she "is the only thing under the sea that [=SpongeBob=] likes better than his job at the Krusty Krab."
* KarmaHoudini: These have popped up from time to time. Probably the most notable is Granny from the episode "Have You Seen This Snail?".
** Another example happens in "Chocolate With Nuts" where Spongebob and Patrick are trying to earn money by selling chocolate but are conned by a fish [[RuleOfThree three times]] and he never gets any comeuppance.
* {{Keet}}: [=SpongeBob=]
* KidsAreCruel: The children of Bikini Bottom can be just as big {{jerkass}}es as the adults. An example being "Krabby Land".
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' Those kids seem to respond to be being in pain. They enjoy other people's misery.
* KidsPreferBoxes: "Idiot Box" revolved around [=SpongeBob=] ordering a giant screen television... simply so that he and Patrick could have the box to play in. Lampshaded by Squidward.
-->'''Squidward:''' Just when I thought they couldn't get any stupider.
* KillItWithFire: In the castaway episode.
* KitschyLocalCommercial: When Mr. Krabs decides to make a commercial for the Krusty Krab, Squidward initially goes all out to make it as extravagant as possible. Krabs then decides it's too much and goes for a cheesy commercial on at 3AM.
* KnightOfCerebus: Granny from the episode "Have You Seen This Snail?". She, unlike other recurring villains in the series (including Plankton and Mr. Krabs, who is considered funny in his actions even more deplorable), she contrasts absolutely comical traits, and the episode itself made ​​things very serious. Later, ''she revels who killed all the snails to eat them!''
** Dennis and The Cyclops as well, in TheMovie.
** Surprisingly, Plankton manages to one in the same movie
* KnightTemplar: Mr. Krabs's increasingly less provoked antagonism towards [[DesignatedVillain his rival Plankton]]. While in early episodes, Krabs was interested solely in protecting his own business from the latter's villainous tactics, he became more obsessed in actively destroying any minor success or happiness Plankton achieved out of spite, via unscrupulous methods or not. On occasion Krabs is shown to take offense when Plankton merely isn't suicidally miserable. [=SpongeBob=] often plays a role in this as well, albeit due to his naivete and [[GoKartingWithBowser on-off friendship with Plankton]], likely more as [[MinionWithAnFInEvil a blind follower of Krabs]] than out of spite.
* KnowsAGuyWhoKnowsAGuy: Spongebob tries to warn Squidward. "Sea Bears are no laughing matter, why, once I met this guy who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy... who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy's ''cousin''-"
** In "The Suds", Patrick tells [=SpongeBob=] of the horrors of the doctor's office which he knows because "I know a guy who knows a guy who went to the doctor once".
* LampshadeHanging: The series features phenomena impossible in its underwater setting, like fire, and the characters comment on this.
** "Hey, if we're underwater, then how can there be a-" *fire extinguishes*
** In one episode, a tree is shown wearing scuba gear.
** In "Chimps Ahoy", Sandy's bosses come to visit her and check on her scientific progress. One points out that sending scientists underwater to live in Treedomes for no reason doesn't really make much sense.
** Then there's the infamous episode where [=SpongeBob=] breaks his butt and becomes agoraphobic. After several attempts to get [=SpongeBob=] outside, a gorilla suddenly attacks Patrick, Sandy, and [=SpongeBob=], who points out the absurdity of having a gorilla underwater. Unable to explain itself, the gorilla rides off on a zebra into the sunset. The last shot is a family watching the episode, being just as confused as we are.
** In "Squilliam Returns" [=SpongeBob=] has to forget everything he knows except fine dining. This is visualised by little [=SpongeBob=]s in his brain shredding documents, burning them, etc. One of them asks his boss why he should work harder, as they're just "...a clever visual metaphor used to personify the abstract concept of thought." When the boss then threatens to fire said worker he's begging for him not to, because he has wife and kids. Which kind of qualifies as a lampshade hung onto a lampshade.
* LargeHam: EVERYONE!!! But especially Patrick.
* LastDayToLive: {{Inverted}} -- the titular sponge is thought to have unknowingly eaten a deadly pie, which will end his life at sunset. Squidward, responsible for bringing a pie-shaped bomb to [=SpongeBob=], feels guilty enough to spend the rest of the day doing anything [=SpongeBob=] wants ([[MistakenForDying without telling [=SpongeBob=] that the reason is because he thinks he's going to die]]). It's eventually revealed that [[spoiler:[=SpongeBob=] never ate the bomb-pie, but rather a different pie. He saved the bomb, which he promptly trips and thus throws into Squidward's face, producing a nuclear blast.]]
* LaughablyEvil: Dennis, Plankton's Assassin from TheMovie, is downright sadistic and threatening. He's also very entertaining to watch due to his over-the-top nature and constant EvilLaugh.
* LaughingMad: [=SpongeBob=] engages in a bit of this during the infamous "I've Been Waiting for You, Patrick" scene from "Bummer Vacation".
* LaughWithMe: A variation. The Flying Dutchman take [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick onboard as his crew. When he demands that they "howl with me, that we might set the seven seas '''ABLAZE''' with fear!", they comply by various ridiculous noises, until he finally gives up on making them scary.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:
** The time frame of 11 minutes, the approximate length of one episode, is brought up more than once, in-universe:
** Squidward once complained, "Why must every 11 minutes of my life be filled with misery?"
** From "Nature Pants":
--->'''Sandy:''' I give him a week.
--->'''Squidward:''' I give him 11 minutes.
** After Spongebob finishes a long-winded narrative about how he once "lost his identity," a waitress at the bar he was sitting in observes, "Well, you managed to kill 11 minutes."
** From "Planet of the Jellyfish":
--->'''Mr. Krabs:''' What happened?
--->'''Spongebob:''' Well, let me tell ya...
--->'''narrator:''' Eleven minutes later...
--->'''Spongebob:''' ... And that's why we're covered in goo.
** "Normal" [=SpongeBob=]: "One more thing, Squidward... you don't wear pants."
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: Used several times, first when Plankton pulls out a tiny record player from {{Hammerspace}} to provide musical accompaniment for his EvilLaugh.
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX-DB7JaNPM second time he does this]] is a funny moment.
** The episode ''Clams'' an ominous tune starts up, Krabs takes notice. He discovers a full orchestra playing the song.
---> '''Krabs:''' [[GenreSavvy That's a 4/4 String Ostinato in D-Minor! Every sailor knows that means death!]]
* LethalChef: Squidward might be such a terrible cook that he's liable to burn your milkshake or [[ItMakesSenseInContext serve you a literal fried boot instead of a sandwich]], but unlike Mr. Krabs, he's never prepared a dish [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7myGrxxhLaY that will try to eat YOU.]]
* LethallyStupid: [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick. In [=SpongeBob=]'s case, it's not really so much that he's ''lethally'' stupid-- "lethally naive" would probably be a better description. When Patrick has lethally stupid ideas, [=SpongeBob=] usually protests initially, but somehow gets talked into it by Patrick, whose intuition [=SpongeBob=] clearly trusts too much.
* LetMeTellYouAStory: Mr. Krabs' story to [=SpongeBob=] about spending a dollar on a soda to persuade [=SpongeBob=] to let his seahorse go.
* LetsHaveAnotherBaby: Patrick says this to [=SpongeBob=] after they take care of a baby scallop.
* LightBulbJoke: The basis of many of [=SpongeBob=]'s "squirrel jokes" stand-up.
--> '''[=SpongeBob=]''': How come it takes more than one squirrel to screw in a lightbulb?
--> '''Audience''': ''BECAUSE THEY'RE SO DARN STUPID!!!''
* LineOfSightName: When the Flying Dutchman comes for Mr. Krabs' soul in the hospital, Mr. Krabs insists that he is "Harold Flower", after the flower on the end table.
** It becomes even funnier in the German dub, where he claims to be be "Benjamin Blümchen" (Benjamin Flower), the titular character of a popular German children's cartoon about a talking elephant. Both Benjamin and Mr. Krabs have the same voice actor, making this kind of an [[ActorAllusion Actor Allusion]]
* LittleKnownFacts: Patrick Star comes up with loads of these, usually in TheBlindLeadingTheBlind situations with [=SpongeBob=]. They both believe them.
* LookAlikeLovers: Squidward's first impression of a female octopus in "Love That Squid":
-->'''Squidward:''' [=SpongeBob=], she's got it all! Class, style, grace, and looks like yours truly!
* LostHimInACardGame: Mr. Krabs lost [=SpongeBob=] to Plankton.
* LoudOfWar: There's a jellyfish party at [=SpongeBob=]'s that's been going for 18 hours that annoys Squidward, so he turns his house towards [=SpongeBob=]'s and plays his clarinet through full-blast speakers. The jellyfish are not happy.
* LyingFingerCross: Played with in one episode. When [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick promise Mr. Krabs not to play on the fishing hooks, Patrick claims he had his fingers crossed. [=SpongeBob=] then points out that Patrick has no fingers.
* MacGuffin: The Secret Formula, arguably.
* MadnessMantra: '''[[NightmareFuel FOCUS ON THE ROAD, THERE IS NOTHING BUT THE ROAD.]]'''
** '''CHOCOLATE!!!'''
** Backing up! Backing up! Backing up! Backing up...
** Squidward: Fuuuuuuuture! Fuuuuuuuture! Fuuuuuuu-- ''[future [=SpongeBob=] drops a brick on Squidward's head]'' ... thanks.
* MadScientist: Plankton
* MadeOfIndestructium: From "Wet Painters", Mr. Krabs' first dollar survives everything Spongebob & Patrick throw at it while trying to get the paint off.
* MadeOutToBeAJerkass: In the infamous "Stuck In A Wringer", Patrick's stupidity results in [=SpongeBob=] being trapped in a wringer and can't get out, and despite Patrick trying to convince him otherwise, nothing goes right for him anymore. Finally, at an amusement park, [=SpongeBob=] yells at Patrick, saying it's all his fault his life is ruined. After a sad Patrick leaves, the crowd around [=SpongeBob=] get on his case.
* MakeOutPoint: "Ah, makeout reef. Good times. ''Gooood times.''"
* ManChild: [=SpongeBob=]'s actual age is very difficult to guess. He lives independently, has a job, is trying for his "boating license"...and acts like a five-year-old with ADHD despite being 25.
* TheManInTheMirrorTalksBack: Patrick's reflection berates him in "Roller Cowards" for…well, being a coward. [[RageAgainstTheReflection He punches it out]].
** [=SpongeBob=] attempts to give himself a pep talk in "Wet Painters" after ruining Mr. Krabs' first dollar, but upon hearing Krabs return, the reflection informs [=SpongeBob=] [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere he's on his own]].
* MarshmallowDream: [=SpongeBob=] dreams of eating Krabby Patties and wakes up chewing on his pillow.
** Also referred to on "Sleepy Time". When SpongeBob meets Gary in the dreamworld, the now erudite Gary tries to explain to him the concept of dreams as a view to another world. When an EmilyDickinson poem goes over SB's head, Gary recites one more his speed: "There once was an old man from Peru; Who dreamed he was eating his shoe; He woke with a fright; In the middle of the night; To find that his dream had come true".
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: Sandy and [=SpongeBob=].
* MassiveMultiplayerCrossover:
** The ''NicktoonsUnite'' series of video games. It's subject to the [[TheProblemWithLicensedGames rule]].
** ''NicktoonsMLB'', which judging by reviews, doesn't suck.
** [=SpongeBob=] has a cameo in "Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band", a ChildrenInNeed music video crossing over many significant British StopMotion cartoons, a few 2D British and American cartoons, and the live-action ''WesternAnimation/{{Teletubbies}}.'' (The reason for having a mere cameo is that the 2D shows[[labelnote:*]]Including [[WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce a character]] from Nickelodeon's [[Creator/CartoonNetwork "other side"]], just as the Children In Need telethon includes programmes from Creator/TheBBC's [[Creator/{{ITV}} "other side"]]. Funny, no?[[/labelnote]] only appear on TV screens to avoid major MediumBlending.)
* MeatOVision: Subverted in "Fear of a Krabby Patty", where [=SpongeBob=] develops a fear of Krabby Patties, and sees Mr. Krabs and the customer as them.
* MediumBlending: Above the surface of the water, everything's in live-action.
* MerchandiseDriven: In-universe example in "The Krusty Sponge". When [=SpongeBob=]'s cooking was the sole thing that saved Krabs from a bad review from a food critic, he exploits that for as much as possible with many [=SpongeBob=]-themed items, including the Spongy Patty... even though they were rotten.
* MetaphorIsMyMiddleName: From "Squid Baby":
-->'''[=SpongeBpb=]:''' Do you like games, Squiddy?\\
'''Patrick:''' Games? Games are our middle name!
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: In "Banned in Bikini Bottom":
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' If Krabby Patties are illegal now, aren't we breaking the law?\\
'''Mr. Krabs:''' There's an old saying, lad. What doesn't kill ya... usually succeeds in the second attempt.\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' But what does that have to do with making Krabby Patties?\\
'''Mr. Krabs:''' Nothing!
* TheMillstone: Patrick fits more than the usual. Whenever [=SpongeBob=] or anyone has a plan, Patrick is sure to screw it up, or do something stupid to make it worse.
* MiniatureSeniorCitizens: Exaggerated. Mermaid Man is only slightly taller than [=SpongeBob=], and both he and Barnacle Boy are [[MindScrew somehow the size of fish]].
* MirrorCrackingUgly: [=SpongeBob=] thought he was this, but it was just his reflection reacting to his smelly breath.
* MisleadingPackageSize: In "The Idiot Box", [=SpongeBob=] buys a television set just to play with the box it came in. The TV was about three times the size of the box.
* MissedTheBus: Rock Bottom. [[{{Pun}} Full stop]].
* MistakenForOwnMurderer: SpongeBob and Patrick fall in love with one of Sandy's pets, a caterpillar named Wormy. When Wormy transforms into a butterfly overnight, they, having never seen such a thing, assume it's a monster that ate Wormy... and they were next!
* MobileFishbowl: The main cast is known to wear water-filled fishbowls on their heads when visiting Sandy's house. Bikini Bottom also once did a concert in a human stadium under a water-filled glass dome.
* MockCousteau: The Narrator.
* MockMillionaire: {{Double subver|sion}}ted when Squilliam Fancyson pretends to be one to bait Squidward... only to finally reveal he actually ''is'' rich.
* {{Mondegreen}}: "Sweet Victory" from the episode "Band Geeks" has a few lyrics that are often misheard, specifically "the world closing in" being heard as "the wind closing in", "be on the attack with your wings in the wind" being heard as "they only attack with their wings in the wind", and "the games will begin" heard as "the daydream begins"
* MoneyFetish: Mr. Krabs
-->'''Mr. Krabs''': My whole life has been about money, saving money, collecting money... ''[rubs his fingers lustfully]'' touching money...
** He's actually been seen doing exactly that on numerous occasions, whether bathing in money, sensually rubbing large amounts of it against his skin, or going to ridiculous lengths to gain/avoid losing even the smallest amount of money (he once gave Pearl and her friends free water as a "gift." ... then he reminded them to leave a tip).
* MoneyToThrowAway[=/=]MoneyToBurn: In "Patty Hype", SpongeBob and Patrick earn so much money that they have no idea what to do with it all, as they are not materialistic at all. They try burying it, shredding it, and burning it. Still unsatisfied, they finally decide to open a "Free Money" stand, where fish queue to receive bags of money. "I'm getting back in line!"
* MonochromeApparition: The Flying Dutchman is sickly green.
* MoodWhiplash: In "No Weenies Allowed" when SpongeBob calls Patrick tubby, Patrick cries very briefly about it and then gets angry.
* MorningRoutine: Many an episode begins with [=Spongebob=] getting up to his blasting foghorn alarm clock and getting ready for work.
** The episode "Rise and Shine" shows how Patrick starts ''his'' day.
* TheMovie: ''TheSpongebobSquarepantsMovie''. [[http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/viacom-paramount-release-spongebob-movie-late-2014-philippe-dauman295695 A second movie will be released in late 2014.]]
* MovingTheGoalposts: Kevin's treatment of [=SpongeBob=] in "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic". [=SpongeBob=] is trying to get into the Jellyfishers' Club, but their leader Kevin keeps stringing him along with increasingly difficult tasks, at which [=SpongeBob=] succeeds with ease. When they finally come up with something sufficiently impossible, it winds up in Kevin being HoistByHisOwnPetard as the fake "queen jellyfish" he creates attracts a real king jellyfish, and [=SpongeBob=] saves the day, revealing Kevin as a complete loser.
* MrImagination: [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick create a world of scenarios with only a cardboard box in "The Idiot Box", much to Squidward's disbelief.
--> '''[=SpongeBob=]''': "Squidward, you can make this box whatever you want it to be with... [[EverythingsBetterWithRainbows *makes rainbow appear from hands*]] ...[[MemeticMutation imagination!]]"
* MrViceGuy: Mr. Krabs pre-{{Flanderization}}.
* MultipleEndings: "Shanghaied" has three (depending on whether [=SpongeBob=], Patrick, or Squidward gets the third of ThreeWishes), which viewers got to call in and choose between during the episode's premiere. Reruns of the episode show only the winning ending, though all three endings are available on some home video releases.
* MundaneMadeAwesome:
** '''[[MemeticMutation "CHOCOLATE?! CHOCOLATE!!!!"]]'''
** In the episode "Procrastination". As the name implies, [=SpongeBob=] grapples with his denial for hesitation in writing a 800-word essay. In one of his many time-wasting gimmicks, he spends an implied ludicrous amount of time and effort writing the "The" at the start of the paper, so the sequence ends up just looking "awesome" instead of being the HardWorkMontage it initially appears to be.
** The opening scene of The Movie features a dramatic scene based around the "crisis" of a customer being given a Krabby Patty without cheese, complete with a slow-motion sequence of [=SpongeBob=] putting some cheese into the patty. It's a Dream Sequence, but still...
** How about any time the Krabby Patty is brought to the audiences attention by [=SpongeBob=], or at least when it focuses on him making Krabby Patties?
** When a customer gets a Patty with jellyfish jelly added, he's so enthused that he bursts into an impromptu musical number: "Hey all you people won't you listen to meeeeeeeee! I just had a sandwich, no ordinary sandwich, a sandwich filled with jellyfish jellyyyyyyyy!"
** And in one of the "Legends of Bikini Bottom" episodes, [=SpongeBob=] is unconscious due to his Krabby Patty meter being empty. Mr. Krabs gets him to eat one. He then blasts up, explodes into pieces, then regenerates after all of them land together, and then... '''[[ChewingTheScenery "OHHHHHHHHH, YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"]]'''
** Mermaid Man. "To the meatloaf... AWAY!"
** Mermaidman and Barnacleboy's origin story [[spoiler: (specifically, that they gained their powers from eating some overcooked popcorn)]]
* MundaneWish: The episode "Shanghaied" had Patrick waste the first wish the Flying Dutchman gave him and [=SpongeBob=] on wishing that he knew about the wishes earlier. In one of the alternate MultipleEndings, Patrick used the third and final wish on a pack of gum.
* MusicalEpisode: "Atlantis [=SquarePantis=]". It's [[JustifiedTrope justified]] (partially), though, in that Atlantean technology is [[DiscoTech powered by singing]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: "What kind of monsters are we?..."
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: [=SpongeBob=], despite his occasional disgust at Mr. Krabs's actions and sympathy for the people he victimizes, ([[GoKartingWithBowser even Plankton]]), generally follows through with his plans blindly, either due to his blind idolization of his boss or the fact his dream job may be at stake otherwise.
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: Pranking the town as ghosts with no clothes on, among other instances.
--> '''Tour Bus Driver:''' And if you look to your right, you'll see two naked guys fighting over a can of paint.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Jack M. Crazyfish. Tattletale Strangler, Flying Dutchman, Bubblebass.
* TheNapoleon: Plankton.
* NegativeContinuity: Hoo boy. Except for ''[=Help Wanted=]'' and ''[=The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie=]'' being first and last in the series respectively (confirmed by WordOfGod), there's no revealed order or canon for ''any'' of the other episodes. ''Spongehenge'', despite being in season five, must come before many other episodes because [=SpongeBob=] specifically says that he's never been late for work when in fact he has been in earlier episodes. ''Just One Bite'' (a season three episode) also must happen after many episodes in the series due to Squidward remarking multiple times that he doesn't eat at or like the food at the Krusty Krab.
** In "Karate Island" [=SpongeBob=] was portrayed as a karate novice when earlier episodes established he and Sandy were equally matched.
** In the episode "[=MuscleBob=] [=BuffPants=]," [=SpongeBob=] is portrayed as being extremely weak physically-- at one point, he's unable to lift a beverage glass ([[UpToEleven as well as the straw inside it]]). In subsequent episodes, he's lifted Mr. Krabs into the air with ease, [[ItMakesSenseInContext dragged himself across the ground while strapped to a giant anchor]], and pushed his own bed (with Squidward in it) ''through the wall of his house and all the way to the Krusty Krab.''
* NeverForgottenSkill:
** [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in the episode "Your Shoe's Untied." [=SpongeBob=] has not needed to re-tie his shoes in so long, he has actually forgotten how to do so.
** In the episode "Pickles", [=SpongeBob=] goes through a HeroicBSOD when he thinks that he got an order wrong. It gets so bad that he starts wearing his pants on his head and [[StrangeSyntaxSpeaker speaking in scrambled sentences]]. Mr. Krabs figures that if he can get [=SpongeBob=] to make a Krabby Patty again, then he'll go back to normal; he even compares it to riding a bicycle, then notices a bicycle on a boiling pot in [=SpongeBob's=] stove.
* NeverLearnedToRead: Clem, one of Plankton's many relatives, after all the other plankton in his family see that the [[spoiler:secret ingredient in Krabby Patties is "freshly ground plankton" (although it's just a ruse by Krabs to drive Plankton away, if only momentarily)]], and flee in horror:
--> '''Mr. Krabs:''' Hey! Why ain't you runnin'?
--> '''Clem:''' Well, I can't read.
--> '''Mr. Krabs:''' ''[angrily]'' Get outta here!
--> '''Clem:''' ''[runs off while laughing like a buffoon]''
* NeverSayDie: Lampshaded in "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost": [=SpongeBob=] thinks he killed Squidward and says, "I don't know how to say this, but our friend Squidward, he's... pushing up daisies!" Patrick calmly replies: "Oh, I thought he was dead."
** "Dying For Pie" averts this trope, however.
** Averted once again with Literature/TheUglyBarnacle.
** Played straight in "Shellback Shenanigans".
* NeverTrustAHairTonic: In the movie, King Neptune tries to use some hair tonic, but accidentally it gets into his eye. [[EyeScream So his eyeballs grow hair.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: "Can You Spare A Dime?" features [[spoiler: Squidward quitting his job at the Krusty Krab]] and attempting to go out into the world and "unlock his potential." [[spoiler:He fails to find a new job,]] and winds up on the streets, living in a cardboard box (which actually gets ''repossessed''), and begging for spare change. Just when it looks like [[spoiler:the most arrogant, self-centered, narcissistic character on the show]] [[BreakTheHaughty has finally been humbled]] (he even graciously, and sincerely, thanks [=SpongeBob=] for helping him... at first), [=SpongeBob=] begins to spoil him by tending to his every whim and turning him right back into the person he was before.
* NiceMeanAndInbetween: The trio of Spongebob, Patrick, and Squidward. Spongebob is pretty much the kindest and idealistic character of the series, often to the point where others are annoyed about it, taken for granted, and to the point of being naive. Squidward is the grouchy Jerkass who barely shows his heart of gold, but this is because of dealing with Spongebob and Patrick as neighbors. Finally, Patrick mediates between the two, but this is mainly because of his stupidity.
* NightmareFace: On several occasions.
** [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fleb_spongebob_squidward-EPIC-frown.jpg "Does THIS look unsure to you?"]]
** [[http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/25200000/Whobob-Whatpants-spongebob-squarepants-25212042-373-300.jpg?1392071296790 Just look at Spongebob. Look at him.]]
** [[https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQCz5astYp6YQZDZZDypL1MndS7N03dzOxb-yAs-HAneERk9QbL "MOAR!"]]
* NoBadgeNoProblem: Because Spongebob is an ''idiot'', when Ms. Puff makes him a prefect he thinks that he can use the authority to help people outside of his boating school, so he goes to the Bikini Bottom city and finds that the traffic light's broken. Then he steps up as a traffic police and helps the boats cross the roads in his usual haphazard fashion. Nothing seems to be bad, until he goes off and it's revealed to the audience (unbeknownst to him) that those cars he helped are piling up in a giant crash. [[RealityEnsues He's then wanted by the police for this.]]
* NoDialogueEpisode: "Reef Blower", aside from one brief caption reading "You!".
* NoFourthWall: Any episode involving Patchy the Pirate acknowledges that [=SpongeBob=] is a just a show. Other episodes do this as well, such as showing a live family reacting to the MindScrew ending to the episode and shutting off the TV.
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: The episode "Can You Spare a Dime?" features Squidward quitting his job over a misunderstanding. When he ends up losing his house, Spongebob selflessly takes him into his own home, and takes care of him. Squidward "thanks" him by [[TheThingThatWouldNotLeave becoming a freeloader]], forcing SpongeBob to wait on him hand and foot.
* NoHeroDiscount:
-->'''Barnacle Boy:''' Listen, bignose. That guy's been saving your butt since before you were born. Don't you have a living legend discount or something?\\
'''Squidward:''' This is a restaurant, not a lending library. [[WhoAreYouCallingNames And who are you calling bignose,]] [[HypocriticalHumor bignose?]]
* NoMatterHowMuchIBeg: [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]]
* NoMoreForMe: In "[=SquidBob=] [=TentaclePants=]", a customer who sees [=SpongeBob=]/Squidward biking into the Krusty Krab says that he's got to lay off the hot sauce.
* NonSequitur: One example is in the trope page.
* NoodleIncident:
** "And that's the story of how I got my head stuck in the fry bed!"
** Whatever [=SpongeBob=] did at the Christmas party mentioned multiple times in the episode about Patrick's box.
** The time Mr. Krabs left [=SpongeBob=] alone at the Krusty Krab with a [[NoodleImplements welding torch and rollerskates]]. This somehow ended with the Krusty Krab on fire.
*** Honestly, other then the whole under water thing, you give someone with [=SpongeBob=]'s personality type a welding torch and rollerblades, and it'd be weirder if the place DIDN'T burn down.
** Apparently, one time Patrick forgot how to eat and needed to be fed with a funnel. Another time, he ended up somehow choking on his remote control.
** In ''Fools In April'' Spongebob mentions something about lima beans and a car chase.
* NoPartyLikeADonnerParty: Played with in "To Save A Squirrel".
* NoSell: Happens in the episode "The Bully" when Flats repeatedly punches [=SpongeBob=] and the blows don't hurt him at all. [=SpongeBob=] actually goes through his entire daily routine without missing a beat, all while Flats continues to throw punch after punch at him, the entirety of which [=SpongeBob=] completely ignores.
* NoSenseOfPersonalSpace: [=SpongeBob=] (target: Squidward).
* NotMeThisTime:
** In "Best Frenemies", Mr. Krabs assumes Plankton was behind the new [=KelpShake=] store that's driving him out of business. It turns out Plankton had done nothing wrong for once.
** During the episode "Plankton's Army," a suspicious-looking robot customer casually enters the Krusty Krab, remarking to itself (but loudly enough for all to hear) that it would like to "sample the wares" of the "quaint restaurant." Mr. Krabs immediately deduces that it's a plot by Plankton and that the "customer" will order a Krabby Patty. Instead, it buys a single serving of chili coral bits, even after Krabs suggests that the robot order a Krabby Patty instead.\\
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The trope is then subverted when Plankton leaps out of a hidden compartment in the dollar the robot used to pay for the food ("Plankton! You knew I'd never distrust a dollar!"), and demands access to the Krabby Patty formula. Krabs casually asks "... or what?" Plankton is left speechless, never assuming he'd have actually succeeded to this point. The page quote for DidntThinkThisThrough comes from this scene as well.
* NotNowWereTooBusyCryingOverYou: In the special "Where's Gary?", Gary returns after [=SpongeBob=] has had a breakdown over him, in time to find him crying.
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' If only I could hear you meow one last time.
-->'''Gary''': (crawls onto [=SpongeBob=]'s head) Meow!
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' Yeah, like that.
-->'''Gary:''' (purrs)
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' Gary, your purring is making it hard to forget you.
* NotThisOneThatOne:
** The Frycook Games: Cue the entrance of Plankton's entrant: what seems to be a massively muscled fish warrior, who actively smashed through the entrance, then turns around to reveal the real participant carried on his back: Patrick.
** In "No Weenies Allowed", the bouncer at the [[BadGuyBar Salty Spittoon]] redirects [=SpongeBob=] to the Weenie Hut Jr. ice-cream parlor across the way. When [=SpongeBob=] objects, the bouncer corrects himself and points at... ''Super'' Weenie Hut Jr.
** In "Mr. Krabs Takes a Vacation", Pearl is excited as Mr. Krabs drives up to their surprise vacation, and they go towards the teenage boy museum. Cue museum being demolished and Pearl being heartbroken.
* ObstacleSkiCourse: [=SpongeBob=], while snowboarding on a sand mound, using his ''tongue'' as the board.
* ObviousStuntDouble: It's obvious Sandy's doubling for Mermaid Man in the unofficial movie they make.
* OffModel: Happens frequently in season one. Squidward's head size often changes from shot to shot, and there is something "off" about [=SpongeBob=]'s appearance during the first few minutes of "Tea at the Treedome".
* OminousMusicBoxTune: [=SpongeBob=]'s "whistly holes".
** Heard in "Nature Pants", when Patrick, gone {{Yandere}}, tells [=SpongeBob=] he'll make him into a trophy.
* OminousPipeOrgan: Heard in "Something Smells" when [=SpongeBob=], convinced he's ugly, played a pipe organ in his house. Pipe organ motifs are also heard throughout "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost".
* OneMansTrashIsAnothersTreasure:... but for Mr. Krabs, ''all'' trash is treasure.
* TheOneWhoWearsShoes: [=SpongeBob=] himself; he wears his shoes to bed ''every night''.
** Sandy's diving suit could also count-- when she's at home in her treedome, however, she goes barefoot.
** [[spoiler:Gary wears little sneakers under his shell, as seen in "Your Shoe's Untied".]]
** Pearl and Mrs. Puff also wear shoes more often than not.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: The only female main characters (i.e. not an extra or oneshot) are Sandy, Pearl, Mrs. Puff, and Plankton's wife Karen.
* OnionTears: [[RuleOfThree Three times]] in "My Pretty Seahorse".
** Also seen in "Something Smells" when [=SpongeBob=] chops onions for his sundae.
* OnlySaneMan: Squidward and Sandy.
** [=SpongeBob=] sometimes. Notably when Patrick is a stupid jerk towards him.
*** Strangely enough, Gary, who often proves that he's somewhat smarter than this owner.
** Occasionally, Plankton falls into as well when dealing with [=SpongeBob=].
* OpeningShoutOut: Used in "Truth or Square". "Who lives in a rock on the sea floor? PATRICK STARFISH!"
* OppositeDay: The eponymous episode from season 1.
* OutOfContextEavesdropping: In "Model Sponge", [=SpongeBob=] overhears Mr. Krabs talking about how it's time for him to "let the little guy go", and assumes he's getting laid off from the Krusty Krab. After [=SpongeBob=] leaves the restaurant to find a new job, however, the audience sees that the "little guy" Mr. Krabs was referring to is actually a scallop. [=SpongeBob=], of course, doesn't know this until he returns to the Krusty Krab near the end, asking Mr. Krabs not to fire him.
* OutOfFocus: Sandy, Larry, Mrs. Puff, and a few other recurring characters don't appear as often in later seasons to the point where they are forgotten as characters. It's also driven to the point where they forgot Sandy's ''name'' in one episode (she's referred to as "Sandy Squirrel" in "Keep Bikini Bottom Beautiful").
* TheOutsideWorld: The show takes place exclusively underwater, but for a couple episodes in which the characters tentatively go above to dry land. they exhibit apprehension and horror at the thought. It is seen as a place of terror where creatures end up as pets or tourist souvenirs.
* OverCrank: Parodied in the Bubble Buddy episode.
* OverlyLongScream: Plankton did it once in the episode where he and Mr. Krabs switch places.
-->'''Plankton:''' AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH *Takes a drink of his soda* AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
** Squidward's scream when [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick walk in on him during his bath, in a scene from "Have You Seen This Snail?" that has been subjected to MemeticMutation.
** The Snail Bites commercial in "Treats"
** Not as long as others, but Mr. Krabs in "Born Again Krabs" screams until he simply runs out of breath. His head also splits apart and grows back.
* OverlyNervousFlopSweat:
** Done by Mr. Krabs in the episode "Pickles".
** In the episode "Squirrel Jokes", Spongebob does this when his jokes are falling flat in front of the audience.
* ParentalBonus: And how! Nosferatu, Dune and so on.
** And Flats the Flounder, if you know that it's Biff Tannen voicing him.
** Davy Jones' Locker is really guarded by [[spoiler: The actual [[Music/TheMonkees Davy Jones]], complete with "Daydream Believer" in the background]].
** In the episode "Missing Identity", when SpongeBob imagines the bank robber entering the store with his name tag, the robber yells [[Film/DogDayAfternoon "ATTICA!"]].
** A musical bonus: In the episode where Patrick becomes smart when he switches his brain with brain coral, he mentions a clarinet piece by "Cornelius Bumpfish". Someone on the writing team must like Music/SteelyDan, whose clarinetist was a man named Cornelius Bumpus.
** In the episode "Professor Squidward", SpongeBob and Patrick are hypnotised by Squidward's metronome...'''SpongeBob''': [[Film/TaxiDriver My whole life has been pointing in one direction...]]'''Patrick''': [[Film/TaxiDriver I see it clearly now. There never has been any choice for me.]]
** In the episode "Idiot Box", when SpongeBob and Patrick are pretending that they are mountain climbers, one of the lines Patrick said was "[[Music/TheDoors I AM THE LIZARD KING!"]]
** "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm" has Sandy and Spongebob trying to track a giant worm, leading to this gem:
-->'''Sandy:''' ''[sniffs sand]'' [[Literature/{{Dune}} Worm sign!]]
-->''[[VisualPun [Sandy digs a small picket sign out of the sand with "WORM" printed on it]]]''
** The episode "Banned in Bikini Bottom" is a parody of the alcohol prohibition movement of the 1920s and '30s.
* ParentheticalSwearing: "Shrimp" is often used in place of "shit".
* ParentsForADay: [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick in "Rock-A-Bye Bivalve". [=SpongeBob=] was [[GenderBender the mother]]. Patrick wanted to be the mother, but [=SpongeBob=] said he shouldn't because he doesn't wear a shirt.
--> '''Patrick''': You're right. If I was a mom... ''[pans out to show grotesquely flabby, hairy chest]''... this would be kinda shocking. ''[{{beat}}]'' JUST CALL ME "DADDY"!
* PerfectlyCromulentWord: Patrick invents the word "wumbo" in one Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episode.
** "I wumbo, you wumbo, he she we, WUMBO. Wumbo, wumboing... wumbology? The study of wumbo? It's first grade, [=SpongeBob=]!
* PerpetualFrowner: Squidward.
* PetTheDog: The ending of "Love That Squid", where Squidward, after seasons of being down on his luck and designated to have anything seemingly good that could happen to him get crushed, succeeds in getting a date with a girl.
* PieEyed: In the 10th Anniversary episode, Patchy shows a [=SpongeBob=] short in a 1920's style where everything has this eye style.
* PityTheKidnapper:
** The Tattletale Strangler's reaction to [=SpongeBob=].
** This happened to the Flying Dutchman TWICE. Once was when he tried to enslave Patrick and [=SpongeBob=] (they made horrible minions) and another time was when he bought [=SpongeBob=] from Mr. Krabs ([=SpongeBob=] was too annoying for him to keep).
* PleaseIWillDoAnything: [=SpongeBob=] gets Squidward to try a Krabby Patty.
* PlotSensitiveLatch: In the episode "Krabs Vs. Plankton", Mr. Krabs is sued by Plankton for slipping in the Krusty Krab, and his lawyer is indisposed, giving [=SpongeBob=] his briefcase, which he claims contains everything necessary to win the case. Unfortunately, the lawyer neglects to tell [=SpongeBob=] the combination to the lock, so he spends most of the trial struggling to open it. At the last possible moment, the briefcase opens, revealing [[spoiler:a Krabby Patty, which is used to lure Plankton out of his ruse and lose the trial.]]
* PooledFunds: Squidward does this on a pile of Krabby Patties after he becomes addicted to them. Mr. Krabs does this with money.
* ThePowerOfRock: In TheMovie and an early episode, "Band Geeks".
* PricelessPaperWeight: The hilarious ways Patrick uses a valuable trading card.
* PrisonEpisode: "The Inmates of Summer" where [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick get on the wrong ship and end up on a prison island. Complete with a character voiced by R. Lee Ermey!
* ProWrestlingEpisode: "Krusty Krushers," with Mr. Krabs as [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick's manager in a tag match against two HUGE opponents in the hopes of making big money. The opponents totally [[SquashMatch squash]] [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick until their double-team diving headbutt collides with Patrick's iron butt. [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick have the choice of either $1 million in cash, or a chance to go to Wrestle Camp. To Mr. Krabs' dismay, they choose Wrestle Camp.
* ProducePelting: Squidward is hit with tomatoes during his ballet skit in "Culture Shock".
* {{Pseudolympics}}: The Fry Cook games, including events such as patty throwing, artistic ice cream diving, bun wrestling...
* PsychopathicManchild: Squidward. While most of the time acting serious, often several times behave very childish way, ultimately the childish behavior becomes a dangerous madman. And no doubt, the clearest example for this is in the episode "Fools In April".
** Plankton also may count. It was in the early seasons an evil enemy, especially as he is seen in the film, but at least as seen in the episode "FUN", seems to have pretty a childish side with SpongeBob when he befriends him. And it is assumed that Plankton is almost as old as it is Mr. Krabs.
* PuffOfLogic: [=SpongeBob=] doesn't have hair...or does he?
* PulledFromYourDayOff: A subversion occurs in the episode "Bubble Buddy". Squidward tries to enjoy ''[=SpongeBob's=]'' day off, but [=SpongeBob=] comes into work anyway to show Squidward his new friend, Bubble Buddy. He also makes Squidward make Bubble Buddy one of everything on the menu, with various alterations to suit Bubble Buddy's needs.
* PunishedForSympathy: In "The Clash of Triton", King Neptune reveals that the reason he is sad during his 5,000th birthday is because he misses his son Triton, whom he locks in a cage in the Island in the Sky for 10,000 years (although specifically, Triton has only been in the cage for 1,000 years) because he made a cure for all mortal diseases, hoping that would teach him how to be a god.
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