->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 J to P see [[SpongeBobSquarePants/TropesJToP here]].

* QualityOverQuantity: King Neptune challenges [=SpongeBob=] to a fry-cooking competition where whoever cooks the most Krabby Patties wins, but he concedes to [=SpongeBob=] when he finds out that his mass-produced patties are terrible while [=SpongeBob=]'s singular patty made with love is superior.
* RampageFromANail:
** One episode ("The Smoking Peanut") has a giant clam behaving this way. Everyone thinks it was because a peanut had been thrown at it; turns out Mr. Krabs stole its egg.
** There was also one episode ("Once Bitten") in which Gary is unruly and goes around biting people. Turns out it was from a piece of Squidward's makeshift security fence, almost making this example a parody, as the thorn was the size of a ''tree''.
* RapidFireComedy
* RapidHairGrowth: In ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongeBobSquarePantsMovie'', Mindy tries to convince [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick that they are men by giving them fake mustaches. Later, they run into tough guy Dennis, who laughs at their pathetic mustaches and show them what a real mustache looks like, by instantly growing one.
** In the actual show, Patrick also has this ability, but with more hairstyles.
* RashomonStyle: In "Friend or Foe?", Mr. Krabs claimed the moment his friendship with Plankton ended was when Plankton went mad with power. ("I'm ruling their stomachs, and soon I'll be ruling their minds!") However, Plankton appears and claimed their friendship actually ended when Mr. Krabs went mad with greed. ("First, I'll rule their stomachs, and then...their money!") But then Karen (who was just starting out as a security system at the time Mr. Krabs and Plankton started their own restaurant) shows up and revealed they didn't attract any customers at all. In fact, the only customer they did have got poisoned by the burger. Krabs and Plankton then blame each other and fought over who gets to fix the recipe, leading them to [[StartMyOwn start their own separate restaurants]]. Notably, all three versions of the tale involved the two tearing their original recipe in half.
* RattlingOffLegal: During one of Plankton's many failed attempts at discovering the Krabby Patty secret formula (episode entitled "Imitation Krabs"), he poses as a sweepstakes sponsor, and the following dialogue occurs:
--> '''Plankton:''' Are you [=SpongeBob=] [=SquarePants=]?\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' Why yes... yes, I am!\\
'''Plankton:''' Then you've just won ONE MILLION DOLLARS! You just have to answer ONE question! What is the Krabby Patty secret formula?\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' ''[takes breath as if he's about to answer]''\\
'''Plankton:''' ''[excitedly]'' Yes?\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' ''[takes breath]''\\
'''Plankton:''' Yes?!\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' ''[[[RuleOfThree takes a third breath]]]''\\
'''Plankton:''' YES?!\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' [[MotorMouth The Krabby Patty formula is the sole property of the Krusty Krab and is only to be discussed, in part or in whole, with its creator, Mr. Krabs. Duplication of this formula is punishable by law. Restrictions apply, results may vary.]] ''[smiles jubilantly]''\\
'''Plankton:''' ''[[[StunnedSilence stunned silence]]]''
* RawEggsMakeYouStronger:
** In the episode "The Great Snail Race", [=SpongeBob=] puts Gary through [[TrainingfromHell Training from Hell]] to win the titular race. At one point, he mixes Gary an "energy drink" which includes raw eggs, simply "because they're cliché!"
** Also, in "[=MuscleBob BuffPants=]", [=SpongeBob=] mentions that he "starts off with twenty raw eggs everyday".
* ReachingBetweenTheLines: Taken about as far as possible in an episode where [=SpongeBob=] and Sandy attempt to one-up each other at karate. First [=SpongeBob=] calls Sandy to attempt to chop her, at which point she turns the attack back on him by twisting his arm and pushing it back through the speaker.
* ReadTheFinePrint: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in the episode "Pickles". Usually, if a customer actually does read fine print, it's an addendum that would be to the customer's disadvantage. However, in this case, a large fish named Bubble Bass demands a refund for his Krabby Patty on the grounds that [=SpongeBob=] forgot to put pickles on it. He cites a ludicrously microscopic disclaimer on the store's overhead menu that reads "Money-back guarantee". Mr. Krabs does all he can to avoid the refund and keep his two dollars, then tells [=SpongeBob=] that he's taking it out of his paycheck.
* ReadingTheStageDirectionsOutLoud: Patrick.
-->'''Sandy:''' Here Patrick, have a Krabby Patty. ''[whispering]'' Psst! There he is, Patrick! Say your line!\\
'''Patrick:''' ''[whimpering]'' Why, thank you, Sandy. I would love one. "[TAKE PATTY.]" ''[takes patty]'' Too bad [=SpongeBob=] isn't here. These are his favorites. I sure wish he'd come home. "[TAKE...BITE...]" ''[slowly puts the Krabby Patty to his mouth, but bursts into tears before he can bring himself to eat it]''
* RealAfterAll:
** The Sea Bear.
** Santa in "Christmas Who?".
* RealFakeWedding: The pastor in "Truth or Square" thought it was a real wedding instead of a play. A deleted line has [=SpongeBob=] saying [[ShipTease "It doesn't have to be"]], only to get [[ShipSinking slapped]] by Sandy.
* RealityEnsues:
** During [=SpongeBob=]'s power trip after becoming Hall Monitor, he tries to lead traffic, causing multiple accidents. Then, he breaks into a family's home in an attempt to teach them about 'the dangers of open windows'. It's rather ridiculous and the audience probably won't give it a second thought, assuming it's being PlayedForLaughs; however, [=SpongeBob=] is wanted by the police shortly afterwards.
** Similarly, in "Jellyfishing", [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick attempt to take Squidward jellyfishing, only for him to constantly be attacked by jellyfish.
** One episode has Plankton say his entire evil plan less than 2 feet away from [=SpongeBob=]. [=SpongeBob=] literally calls the police a minute later.
** In "Nature Pants", [=SpongeBob=] gives up his job to live among the jellyfish in the wild. He ends up getting stung repeatedly by said jellyfish, and ends up hungry, cold and lonely in a cave, and procceds to get infested with poisonous sea urchins.
** "Snooze You Lose" has a minor example; when Squidward falls asleep and won't wake up, among [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick's plans to wake him up include pouring coffee down the squid's throat. Because the coffee was freshly boiled, it just ends up scalding Squidward's lips and throat. [[RuleOfFunny And it fails to wake him up anyway]].
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Tom Kenny mentioned in an interview in "Nick Magazine" that he ''was'' actually very sick when he recorded [=SpongeBob=]'s congested-sounding dialogue in "Suds." For the most part, the sniffles and sneezes were genuine. Which only makes [=SpongeBob=] more [[TheWoobie pitiable]] in the episode.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Patrick gives one to [=SpongeBob=] near the end of "Dumped":
-->'''Patrick:''' I'm sorry, [=SpongeBob=], but Gary's with me now. You had your chance and you failed. You have to stop living in the past. Face it [=SpongeBob=], you're only hurting yourself. It's what Gary wants, and what Gary wants is me!
** Plankton gives one to Squidward in "Plankton!"
-->'''Plankton:''' Shut your mouth, you mediocre clarinet player.
-->'''Squidward:''' ''[sheepishly]'' ... mediocre?
-->'''Plankton:''' You ''pretentious'', little insignificant artist! Your sniveling creations are worth less than a protozoan's ''waste''!
-->'''Squidward:''' ''[turns pale and faints]''
* RebusBubble: "Sponge... + Starfish = ...Scallop???"
* RemovableShell: Gary has sometimes, depending on the episode. Sometimes the shell lifts up to show something hidden inside; sometimes the shell is BiggerOnTheInside and [=SpongeBob=] is able to crawl into it; and sometimes cracking the shell exposes Gary's veiny, throbbing innards.
* RedOniBlueOni: [=SpongeBob=] and Squidward.
* RepeatWhatYouJustSaid: In "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost":
--> '''Patrick''': [Squidward] really needs to get up to the great beyond.
--> '''[=SpongeBob=]''': Patrick, say that again.
--> '''Patrick''': That again.
--> '''[=SpongeBob=]''': No, the other thing.
--> '''Patrick''': No, the other thing.
--> '''[=SpongeBob=]''': No, what you said before when--
--> '''Patrick''': No, what you said before when--
--> '''[=SpongeBob=]''': Never mind! I've got an idea.
--> '''Patrick''': Never mind, I've got an idea.
--> '''[=SpongeBob=]''': ''[stares into the distance with an annoyed look on his face]''
* RepetitiveName: Dr. Gill Gilliam.
* {{Retraux}}: "Truth or Square" had a brief throwback to [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation old black & white rubberhose cartoons.]]
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder: In "Sailor Mouth", after [=SpongeBob=] curses:
--> '''Fish''': Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]''': Well, sometimes, but not... recently.
** Again in "Can You Spare A Dime"
--> '''[=SpongeBob=]''': What could be better than serving up smiles?(makes goofy face)
--> '''Squidward''': Being dead, or anything else.
* RhymingList: In the episode "Born Again Krabs", [=SpongeBob=] finds an old, dried-out patty (just the meat patty itself) underneath the grill. He throws it away, at which point an alarm sounds and Mr. Krabs bursts into the room, panicking that "Someone tried to throw away a patty!" as he picks it out of the garbage. He and [=SpongeBob=] then have the following dialogue:
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' Mr. Krabs, I found that under the grill.
-->'''Krabs:''' And tomorrow, a customer will find it under his bun.
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' But... it's old... and cold... and so very full of mold...
-->'''Krabs:''' You're not to make another patty until that one is ''sold!''
* RiddleForTheAges: The secret formula of the Krabby Patty.
* RichBoredom: Mr. Krabs sells the Krusty Krab for a lot of loot. It's not long before he runs out of things to do in his retirement, goes on a rampage that destroys the Krusty Krab, buys the destroyed restaurant back, and it's all fixed up the next time we see it (in the next episode).
* RockersSmashGuitars: After singing a campfire song.
* RogerRabbitEffect: [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick with Creator/DavidHasselhoff.
* RousingSpeech: In "Band Geeks":
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' What kind of monsters are we? That poor creature came to us in his hour of need, and we failed him. Squidward's always been there for us when it was convenient for him. Evelyn, when your little Jimmy was trapped in a fire, who rescued him? \\
'''Evelyn:''' A fireman.\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' And Larry, when your heart gave out from all those tanning pills, who revived you?\\
'''Larry:''' Some guy in an ambulance.\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' Right. So, if we can all just pretend that Squidward was a fireman, or a guy in an ambulance, then I'm sure that we can all pull together and discover what it truly means: to be in a marching band.\\
'''Harold (in Australian accent):''' Yeah, for the fireman!\\
'''All:''' Hooray!
* RubberForeheadAliens: Man Ray
* DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER: Mocked InUniverse. Patchy's reaction upon seeing "just a bunch of cheap walk cycles", thinking it was the [[MissingEpisode lost episode]] he was excitedly counting down to. He threw out all of his [=SpongeBob=] stuff, even his GoofyPrintUnderwear by ripping it ''out of his pants.''
--> '''Patchy:''' [[HeroicBSOD I'm gonna run away, that's what I'll do! RUN AWAY!]] ''([[ComicalOverreacting opens his front door and runs away crying hysterically]])''\\
'''Potty:''' Sheesh, what a hothead!
* RuleOfFunny: One of the reasons why there's little continuity for the show, for example, as a Sponge, [[=SpongeBob=]] himself can either be completely boneless, or injure himself DependingOnTheWriter.
* RuleOfThree: In the first season episode "Jellyfishing", Patrick helping an injured Squidward hold a jellyfish net.
--> '''Patrick:''' Firmly grasp it in your hand. ''(Patrick places the pole end on Squidward's bandaged hand, but it falls off because he can't grab it. Patrick picks it up)'' '''''Firmly''''' grasp it. ''(He does the same thing again and the results are exactly like before. Patrick gets angry) '' '''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis FIRMLY GRASP IT!]]''' ''(Patrick jams the net through Squidward's bandaged hand. He groans in pain)'' That oughta do it.
* RunningGag:
** "My leg!"
** A few running gags occurred in early seasons only, such as Patrick waking up in the morning as his rock lifts off the ground, at which point he falls to the ground, and Patrick walking into the Krusty Krab, greeting the employees with "Good morning, Krusty Krew!"
** Another early one was Mr. Krabs apparently sweating a lot; this was even referenced in some of the video games.
* SadistShow: There has been an awful lot of ComedicSociopathy in the later seasons.
* SafetyWorst: In "I Had an Accident", after getting a "broken butt" after a sandboarding wipeout, [=SpongeBob=] takes a doctor's orders to be more careful too far and becomes a shut-in.
* SamusIsAGirl: In the "Pressure" episode, there is a scene where Sandy Cheeks takes her suit off, and it leaves her wearing nothing except for her bikini and her thin skirt. Patrick is shocked ("Sandy's a girl?!"), despite seeing her outside of her suit before, and referring to Sandy as "She" just minutes prior.
* SapientAllAlong: For most of the episode "My Pretty Seahorse", Mystery seems to be an animal. Then near the end of the episode, [=SpongeBob=] claims she understands ''everything'' he says!
** Bubble Buddy is also this.
* SapientCetaceans: Pearl is a talking whale who she lives the life of a human teenager.
** Also, a dolphin king seen in "Sponge-Cano!" is a sentient dolphin that warns Bikini Bottom about the threat of volcanoes.
* SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud:
** Plankton makes a habit out of this:
---> '''Plankton:''' Oh, look, it's the Krusty Krab, home of the Krabby Patty! '''''CRUSH!''''' ''[Crushes the restaurant, picks up its sign and starts to lick it like a lollipop]'' Lick, lick!
** From the episode "Plankton!":
---> ''[produces a golden spatula from his "[[{{Hammerspace}} secret compartment]]"] ''SHING! Sparkle, sparkle.
** Squidward, when [=SpongeBob=] and Mr. Krabs "rebuild" Karen 2.0, which actually means simply attaching her computer monitor to Squidward's head:
---> '''Squidward:''' ''[deadpan]'' Welcome to the Krusty Krab. May I take your order? Beep, beep.
** [[ItMakesSenseInContext While attempting to get [=SpongeBob=] to reveal the secret Krabby Patty formula]]:
---> '''Plankton:''' ''[disguised as Mr. Krabs]'' Yum yum. This spaghetti sure is good. Belch.
* SurpriseCreepy: While not part of the show, the 2005 educational short [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UOCmMYINkI "The Endless Summer"]] since it ends with Mr. Krabs realizing everyone except [=SpongeBob=] left Bikini Bottom due to the effects of global warming.
* ScareChord:
** The OminousMusicBoxTune that is heard [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ8IpWuJTFE during]] Patrick's BreakTheCutie moment in the episode"Nature Pants": "If I can't have you as a friend, I'm gonna make you a ''trophy''!"
** The song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=482CpyWqH6U "Ghost Child"]] from "Scaredy Pants".
** The music that plays in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X5ApsYq5fQ#t=8m40s this]] video. It's the 'generic' [=SpongeBob=] creepy music.
*** It also plays during the sequence in "Squid's Day Off" where we see Squidward going insane and blocking off his door to his house to prevent him from going back to the Krusty Krab to check up on [=SpongeBob=].
** The "I DON'T NEED IT" scene in "Tea at the Treedome". [=SpongeBob=]'s dried up face is zoomed in on in terrifying detail, complete with an unnerving heartbeat sound.
* SceneryCensor: Mermaid Man in one episode, with Gary blocking his crotch until he can get a towel on; spoofed with [=SpongeBob=] in the episode "Nature Pants", as he has nothing to hide and in fact spent some...er, most shots without his crotch obscured.
* SchmuckBait: Would anyone care for a bon bon?
* ScissorsCutsRock: In "A Flea in Her Dome", Sandy attempts to keep the fleas at bay with a flea collar, but after fighting [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick over it she just wraps the collar around the three of them so the fleas can't get any of them. However, the fleas had already started to multiply enough that they had enough offspring to blitz through the three of them and ''eat'' the collar.
* ScreamDiscretionShot: In "Clams", [=SpongeBob=] and (an unhappy) Squidward join Mr. Krabs on a clam-fishing trip. [=SpongeBob=] repeatedly attempts to cast off, and hooks various objects on the boat with his backswings, and throws them out into the lagoon when he swings the rod forward. First is a book that Squidward is reading, then the chair he's sitting in, then his shirt... finally, the hook on [=SpongeBob=]'s rod catches Squidward's nose. There's a {{beat}}, and the camera pans extremely far out, and all the viewer sees is the boat. Squidward screams bloody murder as a loud rip is heard, and the next shot shows Squidward missing his nose.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: In "Sleepy Time", when [=SpongeBob=] invades Patrick's dream.
--> '''Spongebob:''' I mean anything! Watch. I can turn into a skyscraper. ''[transforms into the shape of a skyscraper] Going up! Eh? [sees that Patrick is unresponsive; looks dull]'' I can make... a million of me! ''[changes back to his normal shape and size, this time with a million copies of himself]'' Eh? Eh? ''[the clones disappear]'' Ah, tartar sauce. I'm going to a different dream.
** Stanley S. [=SquarePants=] is [[TheJinx the very unlucky cousin]] to the titular character. He ruins everything he touches and drives every character he meets insane. Except Squidward; he only took one look at him, exclaimed "There's ''two'' of them?!" and immediately moved out of his house screaming in terror.
* TheScrooge: Mr. Krabs.
* SeadogPegLeg:
** Patchy the Pirate has one.
** On the episode "Aargh!", Mr. Krabs gives [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick some pirate gear to put on when they go treasure hunting. [=SpongeBob=] puts on two peg legs and calls himself Peggy the Pirate.
* SecondPersonAttack: In "Pizza Delivery", when the fish ordering the Krusty Krab pizza refused to pay for the pizza because [=SpongeBob=] and Squidward forgot to bring him his soda, Squidward comes back at his door and shoves the pizza in the customer's face, saying "Well, this one's on the house!"
* SecretIngredient: Plankton's schemes revolve around discovering the secret ingredient of the Krabby Patty at business rival Mr. Krabs's The Krusty Krab. At one point (after overtaking the restaurant with the help of his millions of hillbilly brethren), Plankton finds out that the secret ingredient is actual plankton ([[GoMadFromTheRevelation Plankton and his family do not take the news well]]), but Mr. Krabs reveals that it wasn't the real secret ingredient, [[CrazyPrepared just a fake one used to dupe Plankton]]. Another episode involves the restaurant going into lockdown as the secret ingredient is air-lifted in.
* SeldomSeenSpecies: Sponge. Also octopus, starfish, and plankton.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick.
* SequelEpisode: There are some rare episodes that act as follow-ups to previous episodes:
** "Bubble Buddy Returns" has [[Recap/SpongeBobSquarePantsS2E3BigPinkLoserBubbleBuddy Bubble Buddy]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin return]] to Bikini Bottom, leaving his son in [=SpongeBob=]'s care.
** "Spot Returns" acts as a sequel to "[[Recap/SpongeBobSquarePantsS9E8SafeDepositKrabsPlanktonsPet Plankton's Pet]]", featuring Spot giving birth and Plankton using the offspring for another plan.
* SevenDeadlySins: Tom Kenny [[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/07/spongebob-squarepants-theory_n_6627556.html debunked this theory]] in a 2015 interview, but some believe that [=SpongeBob=] and his friends represent the seven sins. Mr. Krabs is Greed; Squidward is Wrath; [=SpongeBob=] is Lust; Patrick is Sloth; Sandy is Pride [[UpToEleven (and how!)]]; Gary is Gluttony; and Plankton is Envy. Although there ''are'' other interpretations.
* SeriousBusiness: Charlton Hawkfish in the episode "The Sewers of Bikini Bottom" has this attitude when it comes to chewing out the stadium owner on cutting corners when building the sewer he designed. Justified in that [[spoiler:flushing all the toilets at the stadium at once nearly causes a flood and also awakens a giant snake.]]
* ShaggyDogStory:
** In "Procrastination." [=SpongeBob=] finally [[spoiler:gets his essay done, but when he turns it in the next morning, Mrs. Puff tells him the assignment has been canceled]].
** In "Glove World R.I.P.", [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick do everything they can to save the Glove World amusement park from being torn down, [[spoiler: only for it to be pointless as the reason for the demolition is that Glove Universe, which is bigger and better, was opening just across from it. Not to mention that by the time they had found out about this they had already chaining themselves to the Glove World gates. That they can't even go see the new amusement park because Patrick threw the key in a swamp]].
** In Squirrel Record, Sandy breaks every record in the record book she finds in the trash, but when the author reads it, [[spoiler: he claims she broke no records at all, as the book is thirty years old and the records were broken years ago.]] Surprisingly, [=SpongeBob=] set his own new record when doing so: [[spoiler: most injuries sustained while helping a friend]].
* ShapedLikeWhatItSells: Glove World is made of many different buildings shaped like gloves.
** The Chum Bucket is in the shape of a giant bucket.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Patrick had to go undercover (because he thinks someone is going to kick him out of town), so he dressed up as "Patricia". [=SpongeBob=] had to tell a few folks "she" wasn't his girlfriend.
* ShipTease: [=SpongeBob=] and Sandy (occasionally).
* ShockinglyExpensiveBill: Mr. Krabs receives a restaurant bill of $100 after taking Mrs. Puff on a date, and claims it "can't possibly by correct". The waiter apologizes and hands him his real bill of $100,000.
* ShownTheirWork: For a show that largely follows the RuleOfFunny, every now and then they'll give an accurate fact about marine biology (Stephen Hillenburg actually ''is'' a marine biologist, after all). For example, in "I Had an Accident", [=SpongeBob=] correctly mentions that his species is sedentary, and that they get nutrients by filter-feeding. In the episode "Pressure", he brags to Sandy that he can reproduce by budding.
** Bubble Bass's HashHouseLingo is accurate terminology.
** Junior flying in "Rock-a-bye Bivalve" looks totally implausible, but clams [[http://38.media.tumblr.com/44c33588071369934d357f275355402a/tumblr_miqq57ie4W1rh5jxfo1_400.gif actually do this.]]
* ShrineToSelf: Squidward, who only recreates himself in art.
* ShrunkenOrgan: In one episode, Squidward breaks his "laugh box" (an organ he thought he made up), which has to be removed. The doctor remarks that it's the most dried-up, underused laugh box he's ever seen; it's in a jar the size of a salt shaker. Inversely, [=SpongeBob=] has a laugh box so big that he was able to donate half of it to Squidward while still retaining the capacity to do some laughing of his own.
* SickEpisode: "Suds".
* SignatureLaugh: Most of the characters have distinctive laughs:
** [=SpongeBob=]'s dolphin giggle
** Patrick's moron laugh
** Squidward's nasal chortle
** Mr. Krab's pirate-accented "Ar-ar-ar-ar"
** Plankton's EvilLaugh
* SixIsNine: In the episode [[spoiler:"Born to Be Wild"]], a letter 'W' is actually an upside-down 'M'. [[spoiler:[=SpongeBob=] rips the letter 'W' from the shirt of a biker belonging to a scary gang, the Wild Ones. The biker actually belongs to a much tamer group, the ''Mild'' Ones.]]
* SleepsWithBothEyesOpen: Ever alert, Mermaid Man has trained himself to sleep with his eyes open.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: While it's SeasonalRot eventually pushed it more towards cynical BlackComedy, the show was originally conceived as being idealistic, with Spongebob himself being a sort of beacon of childlike innocence, largely as a push back against the more cynical comedies of TheNineties.
* SlobsVersusSnobs: "Battle of Bikini Bottom"
* SmallNameBigEgo: Squidward.
** [=SpongeBob=] and Sandy also have their moments, [[DependingOnTheWriter though not as consistently]].
* SmashCut:
** In "Tea at the Treedome", Sandy discovers [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick have nearly dried up. This is accompanied by a cut from her dropping her tea glasses to a live-action shot of a sponge and starfish.
** The episode "Krusty Krab Training Video" ends with the narrator saying, "Okay! The [Krabby Patty] secret formula i—"
* SmartAnimalAverageHuman: [=SpongeBob=] and his pet snail Gary. While not human, sea creatures that walk upright are considered the "humans" of the show while feral creatures like clams, worms, and snails are considered "animals" that can be domesticated into pets. Gary is shown to be intelligent and wise compared to his goofy and eccentric owner. Gary even has dreams where he owns an enormous library and has a tall, humanoid body, with his shell and face as his head.
* SmellySkunk: The opening of "Pineapple Invasion" has Plankton use a skunk to stink out the Krusty Krab, taking advantage of the chaos in an attempt to steal the formula.
* SmugSnake: Plankton, Karen, Squilliam, Bubble Bass, and Mr. Krabs DependingOnTheWriter.
* {{Snapback}}: About every other episode, especially in the earlier seasons. Otherwise, [=SpongeBob=] would have been the proprietor of the Krusty Krab for the last eight years or so.
** The above issue has been HandWaved, as the episodes supposedly don't happen in the exact order they come out in. This is at least the case for TheMovie, which is ''the'' official ending for the series despite having been produced years ago. [=SpongeBob=] [[spoiler: eventually becoming manager of the Krusty Krab 2]] is firmly canon.
** The newer seasons are by no means immune. One early post-movie episode, "Wishing You Well" ended with Mr. Krabs being wished away and ''almost eaten''. He was fine in time for the next episode.
* SnarkToSnarkCombat: Between Squidward and Mr. Krabs in the episode "Born Again Krabs":
--> '''Krabs:''' I'm not cheap! I'm generous!
--> '''Squidward:''' ''[deadpan]'' You almost tore a man's arm off for a penny.
--> '''Krabs:''' ''[deadpan]'' Thanks, Squidward. I knew I could count on you.
* SnarkyNonHumanSideKick:
** Potty sometimes serves just to make Patchy's life miserable. Squidward also counts in most episodes.
** Gary also counts, judging by [=SpongeBob=]'s reactions to his meowing.
* SnipeHunt: Mr. Krabs sends [=SpongeBob=] on one of these in the first episode, on Squidward's advice he'd make a terrible fry cook. [[spoiler: However, [=SpongeBob=] returns to save the Krusty Krab from some hungry anchovies with a ''real'' hydrodynamic spatula with port and starboard attachments and turbodrive, which prompts Mr. Krabs to hire him.]]
* SnowMeansCold: During wintertime, it always snows in Sandy's treedome.
* SomebodyDoesntLoveRaymond: Both [=SpongeBob=] and Mr. Krabs refuse to accept anyone can hate Krabby Patties (the plot device for ''Just One Bite'' and arguably ''Plankton's Regular'').
** Though in the former episode, [=SpongeBob=] was aiming more for Squidward to just try it and when Squidward (falsely) proclaims he hates it, [=SpongeBob=] does accept it and realize he was wrong to be so forceful. The latter episode does play it straight, however.
* [[{{Somethingitis}} Something-itis]]: We can frequently see this trope be used by supposedly qualified people, such as "head-go-boom-boom-itis" in Squid Baby, or "oral-report-itis" in Oral Report.
* SoundEffectBleep: "Hey, Patrick, how the [DOLPHIN CHIRP] are ya?" The whole episode (''Sailor Mouth'') took the trope UpToEleven. (Though it turns out "DOLPHIN CHIRP" is the most filthy cuss word known to man.)
** This has been a ''very'' popular source of parody on Website/YouTube, most involving editing cuss words in.
** Subverted with "Krusty Love." [=SpongeBob=]'s cursing is filtered into nonsense vocal noises.
*** The Dutch dub plays it straight though. See {{Angrish}} above.
* SoUnfunnyItsFunny: The show had this, especially in the earlier episodes. The real king is this gem:
-->'''Squidward:''' Why couldn't the 11-year-old get into the pirate movie? It was rated [[IncrediblyLamePun Aaaarrrrrgh.]] ''[laughs uproariously]''
--> ''[{{beat}}]''
--> '''Squidward:''' ''[laughing dies down from awkward silence]'' Because... it's about... pirates...?
--> '''Krabs:''' I'm not payin' ya to do stand-up, Mr. Squidward. Now get back to work!
* SpecialEditionTitle: "Christmas Who?" (done as ''The [=SpongeBob=] Christmas Special''), "Whatever Happened to [=SpongeBob=]?" (done as ''[=WhoBob WhatPants=]''), and "Truth or Square" (done with a remade version of the theme song and stop-motion animation).
* SpeciesSurname: Mr. Krabs (Eugene H. Krabs) is a crab. Plankton also has this trope; "Plankton's Army" revealed that his full name is Sheldon J. Plankton. Also playing this trope straight are Mrs. Puff and Patrick Star. Pearl may count since her surname is Krabs and ''Dunces and Dragons'' reveals she has crab ancestors. "Squidward Tentacles" is also an example of two [[ALizardNamedLiz similar]] [[ADogNamedDog tropes.]]
* SpectatorCasualty: Parodied. During the Fry cook games, several Fish in the Audience are turned into fish sticks, when hot oil is splattered everywhere.
* SpellMyNameWithAThe: In the first two seasons, Karen refers to the show's titular character as "The [=SpongeBob=]."
* SphereEyes: [=SpongeBob=] himself.
* SpiritualSuccessor:
** ''[=SpongeBob=]'' itself can be considered the successor series to the earlier Nicktoon ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife''. Both series not only had much of the same writing staff but also shared similar character archetypes (Rocko to [=SpongeBob=], Heffer to Patrick, Ed Bighead to Squidward, etc.) as well as an uncanny talent at GettingCrapPastTheRadar.
** A large part of the the pre-2004 crew now work for ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''. Most notably Dan Povenmire and Robert F. Hughes. (Who also both worked on Rocko.)
* SplitScreenPhoneCall: Parodied in "Jellyfishing" as well as many other episodes.
* SpotlightStealingSquad: Mr. Krabs and Plankton/Karen in the later seasons.
* SpotlightStealingTitle
* StableTimeLoop: Squidward invents jellyfishing.
* StartMyOwn: In "Friend or Foe", it's revealed that Krabs and Plankton started a restaurant together as a retaliation when the owner of another restaurant wouldn't accept them as customers. Also, before Krabs started to make Krabby Patties, Plankton broke the partnership to start his own restaurant because nobody liked the patty the two of them made together.
** Also, [=SpongeBob=] started running his own stand for his "Pretty Patties" after being made fun of (for making Pretty Patties) by Mr Krabs and Squidward.
* StatusQuoIsGod:
** At the end of the episode "Can You Spare A Dime?", Mr. Krabs discovers that [[spoiler: Squidward didn't steal his first dime, and hires him back to work at the Krusty Krab]]. All is well and back to normal... until Krabs and Squidward get into another argument that appears to be headed in the same direction of what the episode's plot is based on.
** After "Friend or Foe" it is possible that Mr. Krabs and Plankton stayed friends as kids for a brief time (ex-shown pulling the main drain at the end)
** And there's "Bumper to Bumper". [=SpongeBob=] finally obtains his driver's license for real... [[spoiler:only for a cop to point out that because Mrs. Puff crossed the county line, thus setting off her security cuff, the test results were null and void and he then proceeds to ''tear up the license''.]]
*** Every Boating School episode is this trope. Every single episode. "Bumper to Bumper" isn't the only Boating School episode that ends with SpongeBob finally getting his license, only for it to get taken away seconds later.
*** Every "Plankton Tries to Steal the Krabby Patty Formula" episode is this trope as well. Even if Plankton successfully steals it, everything will go back to normal no matter what.
** "Karen 2.0.": Karen gets replaced by a new Karen robot. [[spoiler: Plankton gets rid of Karen 2.0 and keeps the original Karen at the end.]]
** "[=SpongeBob=] You're Fired". Let's just say, it's really not a spoiler that [=SpongeBob=] gets his job back at the end of this half-hour "special". Everyone knew the episode would end with everything going back to normal.
* StealingFromTheHotel: Exaggerated in the episode "Kracked Krabs". Mr. Krabs starts "exaggerating" (stealing) from the hotel room, and [=SpongeBob=] helps him. They steal the toiletries, the furniture, the wall... and eventually ''the room itself.'' As a hotel worker inspects their suitcase, the room pops out.
* StealthInsult: Squidward in "Band Geeks":
** "I really expected better of you people. I guess I'm a loser for that too."
* StopCopyingMe: Patrick does it to [=SpongeBob=] in "Big Pink Loser".
* StockAudioClip: [=SpongeBob=]'s signature laugh, as well as [[MemeticMutation the offscreen guy shouting "My leg!"]]
* StockBeehive: Jellyfish live in stock hives full of jelly. As with everything in the show, it falls under RuleOfFunny.
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: In "Squidville" Squidward replies to [=SpongeBob=] "''Playing'' with a ''reef'' blower? That is the most ''childish'' thing I've ever ''heard'' of. [=SpongeBob=] replies "But it's fun." Squidward replies "''Fun?'' How could playing with one of those over-sized ''hair dryers'' ''possibly'' be ''fun?'' Later in the episode, when ''Squidward'' is playing with a reef blower in Squidville, a resident asks him what he's doing and after Squidward tells him he replies "''Playing'' with a ''reef'' blower? That is the most ''childish'' thing I've ever ''heard'' of." then after Squidward says that it's fun, he replies "''Fun?'' How could playing with one of those over-sized ''hair dryers'' ''possibly'' be ''fun?''"
* StrawLoser: It takes a ButtMonkey to make [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick look like winners; Squidward apparently fills that role.
** Plankton seems to follow a similar comparison to Mr Krabs, who is usually a ButtMonkey or UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist himself when the former isn't in the spotlight.
** Utilized in universe in "I'm With Stupid". When his parents come to visit, Patrick asks [=SpongeBob=] to act like a brainless loser in front of them so he will look less like a deadbeat in comparison. [[GoneHorriblyRight The scheme works too well]], since Patrick, who himself is a hopeless variant of the trope to [=SpongeBob=], actually starts to believe the act himself, and turns into a condescending bully towards [=SpongeBob=].
* StunnedSilence: Numerous occasions, such as in the season-one episode "Hooky". [=SpongeBob=] goes to the "carnival" with Patrick during his Krusty Krab shift, and chaos ensues at the restaurant, since Squidward is a terrible fry cook but also the only one available to replace [=SpongeBob=]. Mr. Krabs demands to know what's going on.
-->'''Squidward:''' It's a feeding frenzy, sir! And [=SpongeBob's=] not back from his break!
-->'''Krabs:''' ''[{{beat}}, then laughs out loud]''
-->'''Squidward:''' What?
-->'''Krabs:''' I thought you said [=SpongeBob=] was takin' a break! No one's taken a break at the Krusty Krab since the chum famine of '59! Now, what were you sayin'?
-->'''Squidward:''' ''[deadpan]'' He took... a BREAK.
-->'''Krabs:''' ''[blinks once and stares ahead in silence, then his arms and nose fall off]''
* StupidCrooks: [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick deliberately attempted to rob a bank in order to try and break Mrs. Puff out of jail from the inside. For masks, both characters wore socks over their heads, which covered their eyes and didn't allow them to see where they were going, and the bank teller treats the ordeal as a normal exchange, asking [=SpongeBob=] for his name and ID (which he gladly hands over), pulling up his checking and savings accounts, and bluntly informing [=SpongeBob=] that he has no money in either account.
* StupidSexyFlanders: In "Squilliam Returns":
-->'''Squidward:''' Try to [[ImagineTheAudienceNaked imagine him in his underwear]]...oh no, he's hot!
* StylisticSuck: Any scenes featuring Patchy the Pirate and Potty the Parrot are meant to look as cheap as possible. Especially Potty, a extremely poor-looking marionette.
* SuckinessIsPainful: Patrick's self-composed song in "Sing A Song Of Patrick", which is so awful that it [[BrownNote actually]] ''[[BrownNote kills]]'' the band that records it.
** [[GiftedlyBad Squidward's clarinet skills...]]
* SuddenlyVoiced: In "The Secret Box", [=SpongeBob=] asks Gary if he thinks his plan is good. Gary replies with, "Hmm... ''NO''."
* SuddenlyFluentInGibberish:
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' Patrick, I didn't know you spoke bird!
-->'''Patrick:''' No, that's Italian, [=SpongeBob=].
* SueDonym: In "Fear of a Krabby Patty", Plankton gives his name as "Peter Lankton". It is later shortened to "P. Lankton".
** "Hey, wait a second... is this a prank call?"
* SuperheroEpisode: "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V".
* SupremeChef: Jim
* SurroundedByIdiots: Squidward. Big time.
* SwallowedAFly: In "Nasty Patty", the health inspector swallows a fly before he can take a bite of the 'Nasty Patty' that [=SpongeBob=] and Mr. Krabs fixed up. [[spoiler: They believe that they killed him when they see him lying on the floor]].
* SynchronizedSwarming: Plankton rallies his extended family to aid him in finally stealing the Krabby Patty secret formula.
-->'''Mr. Krabs''': Curse you Plankton, and [[LampshadeHanging your ability to join together to form a working human ear!]]
* SynchroVox: Used in the opening with "Painty the Pirate", who starts the theme song.
* TakeAThirdOption: In the episode where Plankton is trying to build his Chum Bucket Mega Bucket in the Goo Lagoon, he tells [=SpongeBob=] that nice guys finish last, and that only aggressive people conquer the world. [=SpongeBob=] kindly retorts with "What about aggressively ''nice'' people?"
* TakeThat: "Krabby Land" is an episode-long potshot to UsefulNotes/McDonalds. Mr. Krabs' quote at the end clinches it:
-->'''Mr. Krabs:''' The children? I don't care about the children! The fact that feeble minds are easily manipulated by cheap playgrounds and talentless clowns is no skin off my nose! Survival of the fittest, [=SpongeBob=]! Survival of the fittest!
** "Graveyard Shift" has another one at [=McDonald's=] when Mr. Krabs makes it so the Krusty Krab is open 24/7 and Squidward says it's a stupid idea. There are [=McDonald's=] restaurants that are open 24/7.
** The 2017 Free Comic Book Day comic has a huge one to the comics industry at that point in time:
--> '''Spongebob:''' (referring to the Day itself) Why, it's the day when all the graphic literature shops provide ''gratis'' samples of their wares in a pathetic attempt to bolster an industry which has spent the last two decades in a death spiral brought on by lethal interaction between the lack of variety and a monopolistic distribution system!
* TakingAdvantageOfGenerosity: [=SpongeBob=] is often the victim of this.
* TalkLikeAPirate: Krabs, [=SpongeBob=], and Patrick do this in "Aargh!" Sponge and Patrick take it to an absurd degree, though:
--> '''[=SpongeBob=]''': Aargh, captain, aargh, we're, aargh, about, aargh, to hit, aargh-
--> '''Krabs''': Out with it, man, aargh!
--> '''Patrick''': I think, aargh, he's trying, aargh, to say, aargh... ''[crashes the boat]'' Land.
--> '''Krabs''': Urgh... from now on, only the captain says "aargh".
* {{Taps}}: In the episode "Band Geeks", Squidward and the Bikini Bottom citizens are practicing in a marching band. Squidward tells the flag spinners in the front to spin the flag faster, and eventually, so fast that they fly and collide with a zeppelin, which explodes. The trumpeter of the band then plays the Taps as the rest of them hold their hats on their chest.
* TeamRocketWins: Plankton in "Wishing You Well" and the movie.
** Squilliam in Squilliam Returns.
* TeethFlying: [=SpongeBob=] has to impersonate Mr. Krabs at his Navy reunion. One of Krab's buddies asks to punch him in the "armor abs", resulting in one of his teeth coming loose. The others are disappointed that he only lost one tooth, until he spits out a few more, and then ''his skeleton'' and the others declare, "Now that's manly!"
* TemporarilyAVillain: The show has Barnacle Boy switching sides over not getting enough food and respect.
* TemptingFate:
** During the episode "[=SpongeGuard=] on Duty":
--->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' I'm cool! I'm every bit as cool as Larry! ''[smugly]'' And if I'm not, let me be struck by... ''[lightning rumbles]''... a flying ice cream truck! ''[ice cream truck song plays]'' ... AND LIVE! ''[ice cream truck stops in mid-air inches above [=SpongeBob's=] head, then falls on him]''
--->'''Larry:''' Please do not drop flying ice cream trucks on the bathers!
** A textbook example occurs in "Wet Painters," when [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick have to paint Mr. Krabs' house of valuable collectibles. Cue Murphy's Law, involving a giant paint bubble:
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' Barnacles! What could be worse than a giant paint bubble?!\\
'''Patrick:''' Ooh! I know! ''(produces a bubble wand, dips in into the paint, and blows another giant paint bubble)'' ''Two'' giant paint bubbles!\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' NOOOOOOOOOO!\\
''(the bubbles collide and form one MASSIVE paint bubble)''\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' Patrick, I don't think this bubble can get much bigger!\\
'''Patrick:''' Nonsense! ''(produces a bike pump to hook up to the paint bubble, inflating it further)''
** Also, in "Can You Spare a Dime?":
--->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' Squidward is not a freeloader and he would never take advantage of me.\\
'''Narrator:''' Three weeks later...\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' He's just having a hard time getting his confidence back.\\
'''Narrator:''' Many months later...\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' I'm sure he's close to a breakthrough.\\
'''Narrator 2:''' [[RuleOfThree So much later that the old narrator got tired of waiting and they had to hire a new one...]]\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' ''[grunts as he crawls to the living room]''\\
'''Gary:''' ''[matter-of-factly...]'' Meow, meow, meow...\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' I ''know'' he's still not looking for work! DON'T RUB IT IN!
** The lead singer of the band from "Sing a Song of Patrick" says that they'll record Patrick's song "even if it kills [them]". GilliganCut to a cemetery, with four graves sitting side-by-side.
* TerribleArtist : [=SpongeBob=]'s crude drawings come to life in the episode "Frankendoodle". Even Patrick criticizes him on his lack of structure and perspective, [[HypocriticalHumor though his drawings aren't any better.]]
* TerribleTicking: Or in this case, squeaking, in "Squeaky Boots".
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: Averted, [=SpongeBob=] has curly lashes... though he is a bit girly.
* [[ThatCloudLooksLike That Cloud Looks Like A Flower]]: [=SpongeBob=] watches the clouds go by with Sandy, who then reminds him they are all flowers.
* ThatPoorCat: There was a similar gag of a guy yelling "My leg" instead of a yowling cat. Mainly in the early seasons.
** In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II", a cat screech was heard when Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy parked their invisible boat mobile with a crash. This happened 2 times.
** All snails usually meow like cats. But after TheMovie, they were able to screech. Gary was able to screech too. He did it in three episodes: "The Thing", "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?" & "Grooming Gary".
* ThemeTuneCameo: [=SpongeBob=] hums the show's credits theme (usually not heard due to Nickelodeon's CreditsPushback) in "Krabs vs. Plankton".
* TheyPlottedAPerfectlyGoodWaste: A lot of post-movie episodes don't seem to rely much on a plot as they used to. One notable example is the episode "The Splinter", where [=SpongeBob=] gets, well, ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. This particular episode had no plot whatsoever and instead of some fancy way to get it out, we are treated to 11 minutes of NauseaFuel, and near the end, Mr. Krabs simply pulled it out in a very anti-climactic way.
* TheThingThatWouldNotLeave:
** Squidward, when he loses his job in 'Can You Spare A Dime?'.
** [=SpongeBob=] when he has to take a vacation.
** the Flying Dutchman, after he wrecks his ghostly ship. [[spoiler: Which had been fixed for 3 months by the time he decided to leave.]]
* ThisBillboardNeedsSomeSalt: In "Sleepy Time", Plankton, dreaming that he's a giant, treats the Krusty Krab's sign as a lollipop.
* [[PunctuatedForEmphasis This! Is! PATRICK!]]
** [[BerserkButton My Name's! NOT! RICK!]]
* ThousandYardStare: Mentioned by name when Mr. Krabs and Squidward find [=SpongeBob=] in shock at the beginning of "The Krusty Sponge". When he realizes it's because they're about to receive a visit from food critic Gene Scallop, Krabs adopts one as well.
* ThreeWishes: At the end of "Shanghaied".
* ThrowTheDogABone:
** Squidward in "Band Geeks" (where [=SpongeBob=] and everyone else in Bikini Bottom manage a musical performance impressive enough to give his rival Squilliam a heart attack), "House Fancy" (where in spite of his house getting wrecked, it is determined way fancier than Squilliam's house), "Enchanted Tiki Dream" (where [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick give it their all to let Squidward have some happiness for once) "Suction Cup Symphony" (where his performance is applauded), and "Love That Squid" (he gets a girlfriend named Squilvia who loves him even when he loses his patience with [=SpongeBob=]).
** IneffectualSympatheticVillain Plankton and Mrs. Puff in "Wishing You Well" both get their wishes granted, with Plankton wishing to be taller and Mrs. Puff wishing for her own hot rod. On the subject of Plankton, there's an episode he gets a pet, in which he receives a happy ending.
* TieInNovel
* TimeTravelEpisode: "SB-129".
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: Mr. Krabs and Pearl, as a family example.
* TitleConfusion: There's an episode called "Patty Caper" and a special called "The Great Patty Caper". Sometimes people get them mixed up.
* ToiletHumor: Shows up from time to time:
** Patrick's stomach in "Something Smells".
** [=SpongeBob=] cleaning a toilet as an actor for a sponge in a commercial.
** "I gotta act natural!"
-->"Oh that's real nice."
* ToiletTeleportation: Subverted when Spongebob and Patrick pretend to be ghosts and haunt Mr. Krabs. They clogged all the toilets so he couldn't try to escape that way.
* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler:"Wait a minute, Patrick... ''I'm'' the maniac!"]]
* ToneShift: The first three seasons had a lot of SurrealHumor and [[ParentalBonus Parental Bonuses]]. After the movie, there is much more emphasis on [[GrossOutShow Gross-Out Humor]], BlackComedy, and ComedicSociopathy. For the current era (season 9B-present), the show brought back the surreal humor, but it's now UptoEleven due to its more DenserandWackier tone, with the aforementioned tropes for post-movie era being toned down.
* TongueOnTheFlagpole: Happens to Patrick when he gets his tongue on a wooden pole when the Krusty Krab is frozen in "Krabs a la Mode". He doesn't seem to mind, though.
* TooDumbToLive: '''Patrick''' more than qualifies for this. And [=SpongeBob=] to a lesser or sometimes equal extent in certain episodes. Possibly one of the show's most infamous tropes after the movie.
** Their past counterparts in "SB-129" however, are ''far'' worse. They repeatedly attempt to play catch with a jellyfish, barehanded; Squidward intervenes to teach them how to jellyfish mostly because their agonized screams are disrupting his clarinet-playing. You COULD make the excuse that they were cavefish with un-evolved brains, so they don't know if it's wrong or right.
** Not just Pat and [=SpongeBob=], but the cast, including random extras, tend to do incredibly stupid things.
* TookALevelInDumbass: [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick after the movie, even though they were semi-dumb before. Now it seems like a running theme between the two of them. Most times. Another infamous trope related to the post-movie seasons.
** Sandy is this to an extent following the second season from doing dumb stunts. Even though she becomes a scientist later on in the series, it unfortunately still applies to her even at those times.
** Mr. Krabs sometimes when there's a choice between something moral and money is involved. ESPECIALLY in ''Born Again Krabs''. Who trades their best fry cook for pocket change you can find in your couch cushions?
* TooSpicyForYogSothoth: In "Born Again Krabs", Mr. Krabs trades [=SpongeBob=]'s soul for 62 cents. Just as he starts to feel bad about it, the Flying Dutchman comes back to return [=SpongeBob=] after being annoyed by his incessant chatter about his hobbies.
** The Flying Dutchman gave [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick up as slave crewmen in "Shanghaied" because they were incredibly bad at it. In a subversion, rather than letting them go, he planned to eat them, but they escaped. Then the Dutchman catches them, but he offers them three wishes before they're eaten. After accidentally using up two of their wishes, they use their final wish to turn the Dutchman into a vegetarian. But then they appear in a blender, somehow transformed into fruit, with the Dutchman preparing to eat them.
** [[RuleofThree In a third]] Flying Dutchman example, namely "Scaredy Pants", [=SpongeBob=] is shaved down by Patrick to make him rounder for a sheet he uses as a Flying Dutchman costume to try to scare everyone in the Krusty Krab for Halloween. He fails miserably, but as the restaurant is laughing at him the real Dutchman arrives, angered by [=SpongeBob=]'s insulting costume and about to steal everyone's souls. He takes a moment before doing so to explain the concept of being scary to [=SpongeBob=], then removes the sheet... and flies away screaming when he sees the sponge had been shaved down to facial features, a brain, and a "spinal cord".
* TorturePorn: Many episodes starting in its fourth season had become this. Mostly towards Squidward.
* {{Tradesnark}}: In one episode, [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick play [[strike:Frisbee]] Small Plastic Disc That You Throw[=/=]Toss.
** "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V" proclaims the IJLSA as "a subsidiary of Viacom," Nickelodeon's parent company.
* TrainingFromHell: The episode when a DrillSergeantNasty shark teaches [=SpongeBob=] how to drive. It works, but [[spoiler: [=SpongeBob=] ends up being able to drive only when [[HandicappedBadass BLINDFOLDED]]]]. HilarityEnsues.
--> MY PANTS!!!!
* TreeBuchet: In "Club [=SpongeBob=]", Squidward tries to leave [=SpongeBob=]'s clubhouse by grabbing a vine and pulling himself down the stalk the treehouse is situated in, dragging the treehouse with him and bending the stalk double. As soon as he puts a foot on the ground, the vine snaps….
* TropeOverdosed: The trope page had to be divided into FOUR different pages.
* TroubledFetalPosition: Played for laughs with Squidward in "Band Geeks", after another screw-up by his slapdash marching band.
** [=SpongeBob=] does this for a whole episode in which he becomes afraid to go outside, so he decides to live inside his house for the rest of his life. [[StatusQuoIsGod Thankfully, he got over it.]]
** One episode had Kevin the Sea Cucumber sits in a fetal position and cry for his mommy and blankie when attacked by a King Jellyfish. The other Jellyspotters join in shortly until [=SpongeBob=] saves them all.
* [[ThreeShorts Two Shorts Format]]: There are occasional episodes containing a third short -- namely, the {{pilot}} and five of the fifth season's episodes.
* TwoHalvesMakeAPlot: In the special "Atlantis Squarepantis" [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick find half of an amulet and bring it to a museum, where the other half coincidentally resides.
* TwoTimerDate: Averted; you see, [=SpongeBob=] had ''three'' appointments booked for the same time, not two.
* TyopOnTheCover:
** An in-universe example: Bikini Botto'''''n''''' Arcade in the episode "Karate Star".
** "Pet Sitter Pat" has a book titled 'Snail Tails', which actually had the correct spelling on Spongebob's list of things to do with Gary.
* UmpteenthCustomer: A customer gets this for giving Mr. Krabs his millionth dollar earned. He gets no prize; he and the others just get thrown out so that Krabs can enjoy the dollar in peace. He does reward his workers, though... with a fishing trip.
* UnexplainedRecovery: In "Karate Island" despite getting beaten to a pulp by Sandy, the Karate Master is perfectly fine when Squidward arrives on "Clarinet Island" shortly after.
* UnreadableDisclaimer: In "Pickles", it's revealed Mr. Krabs does have a money back guarantee on his menu, but it's written in text that you'd need a microscope to read. Bubble Bass is somehow aware of it, though.
* UnreadablyFastText: In "No Free Rides", [=SpongeBob=]'s date of birth is given as 14 July 1986.
* TheUnreveal: THE SECRET RECIPE TO THE KRABBY PATTY SECRET FORMULA IS -- *Cuts to credits/a commercial*
** In ''Krabby Road'' we are given a brief glimpse at the formula. However the ingredients are [[UnusualEuphemism nonsense words comprised of random letters]] akin to something a frustrated person might type when banging on a keyboard.
** A book detailing the series claimed to have the secret formula at the end. [[spoiler:All it read was, in .5-point font, "Congratulations! You know how to use a magnifying glass!"]]
* UnsatisfiableCustomer: [[FatBastard Bubblebass]].
* UnstoppableRage: Patrick was tearing up the carnival in the Valentine's Day episode after he only got a handshake (while [=SpongeBob=] got other people roses, a box of chocolates, and a bike).
** Sandy, on more than one occasion.
** Plankton, although usually only in his own fantasies of what his life would be like if he were bigger.
* UnusualEuphemism: "Fishpaste!" "Barnacles!" "Tartar Sauce!" etc.
* VagueAge: [=SpongeBob=] lives on his own and holds down a job, yet is considered a "kid" by some. However, a few episodes give his DOB. Possibly justified when considering his mental age, or the long lifespan of actual sponges.
** He's failed boating school thirty-seven times as of the start of the series. ''(Meow)'' [[RunningGag Umm...thirty ]]''[[RunningGag eight ]]''[[RunningGag times.]]
** And he has HUNDREDS of employee of the month awards by the time The Movie takes place. Employee of the month awards that would take 37 years and two months just to win.
* VengefulVendingMachine: In the episode "Rock Bottom", [=SpongeBob=] is waiting for the bus so he can go home. He gets hungry and runs across the street to the vending machine to buy a candy bar. The machine itself works properly, but the bus showed up and drove off everytime he tried to put a dollar into the machine or to reach for the candy bar after it was dispensed. Keeping his eyes on the bus, he slowly moves to grab the candy bar, with the bus revving the engines everytime he gently touches the bar. He tries to run back across the street to catch the bus, but it drives off. A random stranger walks up to machine and just takes the candy bar.
* VerbalTic: In Rock Bottom, you actually need to raspberry between words (i.e.: '''JUST''' * PPPTPTPTP* '''LIKE''' * PTPTPT* '''THIS''') in order for you to be understood.
-->"What? *pbthbth* I can't *pbthbth* understand *pbthbth* your accent. *pbthbth*
* VillainHasAPoint: Occurs in the episode "Walking Small". Even though he was simply using [=SpongeBob=] ('''''for land development!''''') throughout the episode, Plankton was 100% right when he told [=SpongeBob=] that he should be more assertive and stop letting people walk all over him.\\
In this episode alone, two people cut in front of him in line for free ice cream, and [=SpongeBob=] does nothing in retaliation. By the time he gets to the front, the vendor is sold out. Then, as he and Plankton sit on a bench, a large fish sits on [=SpongeBob=], and doesn't even move when [=SpongeBob=] asks him to do so politely.\\
All in all, a lot of [=SpongeBob's=] problems would probably easily be solved (or never occur) if he weren't a spongy, yellow doormat.
* VillainSong: The pirate ghosts from "Ghost Fools" get one.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Type 1 with [=SpongeBob=] and Squidward.
* VocalEvolution: Creator/TomKenny's [=SpongeBob=] voice was somewhat deeper and nasal in earlier seasons, before becoming higher pitched and childlike in the movie & revival seasons. Does not help with VagueAge. He does go back to his lower voice around season 8.
** Season 1 in general had a more relaxed voice acting, aside from Squidward, who ironically sounded more nervous and his voice mellowed out afterwards.
* WalkIntoCameraObstruction:
** "Texas": when Sandy is chasing [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick. While carrying a lasso she fills the screen with her foot.
** "Whelk Attack" where Mr. Krabs tries to give Krabby Patties to the whelks. He walks out the Krusty Krab with a plate full of Krabby Patties and walks towards the screen.
** "Bummer Vacation" with [=SpongeBob=] accusing Mr. Krabs of replacing him.
** "Squidward, the Unfriendly Ghost": When [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick about to clean Squidward's back room.
-->'''Patrick:''' "Oh, coming!"
* WalkOnTheWildSideEpisode: In one episode, Squidward gets so fed up with [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick's antics that he decides to move out into a gated community filled with other squids who share his interests. Inside, he finds that everyone else has a Easter Island head house, everyone else loves playing the clarinet, everyone else loves riding their paddlebikes, everyone else loves ballet dancing, and everyone else enjoys eating canned bread. He's thrilled at this, but soon gets bored of the same routine every day, to the point where he starts going out of control and just lets loose while playing around with a leaf blower. The other citizens filled a formal list of complaints, but Squidward tells them off by flying his leaf blower into the sky while screaming wildly.
* WalkThroughTheCamera:
** "Breath of Fresh Squidward" [=SpongeBob=] walking with new Squidward attached to him. "Boy, the new Squidward sure is chummy."
* WatchingTheSunset: With Squidward.
-->'''Spongebob:''' This is great. Just the three of us; you, me, and this brick wall you built between us.
* WaterIsAir: Very frequently. Most noticeable in the episode involving a wind storm that causes [=SpongeBob's=] holes to whistle.
** [=SpongeBob=] and friends are also perfectly capable of falling off cliffs, taking baths...
** Lampshaded in one episode where [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick run away after they think they're wanted fugitives for popping a balloon.
-->''Spongebob and Patrick are sitting around a campfire late at night.''\\
'''Patrick:''' [[LampshadeHanging Hey, if we're underwater, how can there be a--]]?\\
''[fire immediately goes out]''
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Looking on the positive light post-{{Flanderization}}, you'd see Mr. Krabs as this.
* WhamLine:
-->'''Spongebob''': Wait a MINUTE! (''pulls out Bubble Bass' tongue'') He's been hiding the pickles under his tongue the whole time!
* WhatTheHellHero: In ''Karen 2.0'', when [=SpongeBob=] accidentally makes Karen cry some more after Plankton dumps her, Mr. Krabs responds to this with this:
-->'''Mr. Krabs''': ''(Angrily)'' Smooth, [=SpongeBob=]. REAL smooth!
** Squidward even calls Mr. Krabs out on selling [=SpongeBob=]'s soul for 62 cents in ''Born Again Krabs''. Squidward hates [=SpongeBob=] with a burning passion of a thousand suns, but even he was disturbed at what Krabs did.
** In "Stuck in the Ringer", [=SpongeBob=] yells at Patrick for ruining his life by gluing him to his wringer. But the [[UngratefulTownsfolk townspeople]] [[MadeOutToBeAJerkass call [=SpongeBob=] out for yelling at Patrick]] even though it was Patrick who got him in that mess in the first place.
* WhosOnFirst: "Good Ol' Whatshisname", in which Squidward tries to find out the name of a mystery customer.
** Also, in "Shellback Shenanigans":
--->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' When are we making this fresh batch of Krabby Patties, Mr. Krabs?\\
'''Mr. Krabs:''' What?\\
'''Plankton:''' Okay, now what'd he say?\\
'''Karen:''' "What?".\\
'''Plankton:''' I said, "What'd he say?"\\
'''Karen:''' He said, "What?".\\
'''Plankton:''' I have no idea, that's why I'm asking you what he said!\\
'''Karen:''' I know that, and I'm saying he said, "What?"!\\
'''Plankton:''' I know that! Wait... oh, he ''said,'' "What?"\\
'''Karen:''' Yes!
* WhosWatchingTheStore: Only three people operate the Krusty Krab, and all three are not always at work at the same time.
* WholePlotReference:
** The very first episode, "Help Wanted", is a loose remake of a scene from the ''[[Creator/JerryLewis The Bellboy]]'' where Stanley's boss makes him set up chairs in a huge ballroom to keep him out of trouble, only to return a minute later and see every chair single set up perfectly. Just replace "setting up chairs" with "looking for a hydrodynamic spatula" and "doing it abnormally fast" with "actually finding it."
** "Patrick Smartpants" is ''Literature/FlowersForAlgernon''. Patrick suddenly becomes smart after an accident in Jellyfish Fields. It turns out that after the top of his head was knocked off, [=SpongeBob=] put a "brain coral" on Patrick instead of Patrick's real head.
** The episode [[Recap/SpongebobSquarepantsS3E2ClubSpongebobMyPrettySeahorse Club Spongebob]] is, believe it or not, one for Literature/NineteenEightyFour, only LighterAndSofter.
** "Culture Shock" is one for the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "Show Biz Bugs", with Squidward and Spongebob standing in for Daffy and Bugs, respectively.
* WhyWontYouDie: Very blatant in "Demolition Doofus," when Mrs. Puff is trying to ensure that [=SpongeBob=] will die in the truck rally but survives, she screams, "Why are you still alive?!"
* WidgetSeries: Of the WHAT variety.
* WindbagPolitician: When [=SpongeBob=] was chosen hall monitor, he gave a long, boring acceptance speech (which includes a quote from an equally long speech given by a famous hall monitor). By the time he was finished, class was over without him actually performing his hall-monitor duties.
* WinsByDoingAbsolutelyNothing:
** In the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V", Mermaid Man hires the main cast to pose as superheroes against Face Heel Turned Barnacle Boy's villain group "Evil Is Lemons". However the team's ineptness with their super powers leads them to all injure themselves, while the villains look on dumbfounded.
** In "The Great Snail Race", [=SpongeBob=], Squidward and Patrick enter a snail contest, with Patrick's contestant being a rock.[[note]]"Thanks, I know. He's got nerves of steel"[[/note]] While [=SpongeBob's=] snail Gary crashes and Squidward's snail forfeits the race to be by his side, Patrick's "snail" somehow got to the finish line.
* WithholdingTheirName: In the episode, [[Recap/SpongebobSquarepantsS5E84SpyBuddiesBoatSmartsGoodOlWhatshisname "Good Ol' Whatshisname"]], Squidward and [=SpongeBob=] compete in against each other to learn the names of all the customers in the Krusty Krab. When Squidward gets down to the last customer, it seems like the customer doesn't want to tell Squidward his name, as it sounds like he tells him "What's it to ya?". After Squidward takes the customer's wallet from him, getting himself arrested as a result, Squidward finds out [[RealJokeName the customer's real name]] is "[[WhosOnFirst What Zit Tooya]]".
* {{Workaholic}}: [=SpongeBob=] ADORES his job at the Krusty Krab, to the point where he ''goes insane'' when Mr. Krabs tries to make him take a vacation.
* WorkOffTheDebt: The plot of "Pat No Pay". Being Patrick he screws up even the simplest of jobs.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: [=SpongeBob=] performs one at the end of TheMovie. [[CrazyAwesome Then]] [[ThePowerOfRock after that...]]
* WorldOfHam: At least half of the characters on the show have a ''huge'' thing for the dramatic, and will demonstrate whenever they get the chance.
* WorldsSmallestViolin: In a scene from "Squilliam Returns" in which Mr. Krabs plays the World's Smallest Violin as a variant of this trope.
-->'''Mr. Krabs''': Oh, boo hoo. Let me play a sad song for you on the World's Smallest Violin. ''[Does so]''
-->'''Squidward''': This is serious!
-->'''Mr. Krabs''': I know. This really ''is'' the World's Smallest Violin. See? (camera focuses on his claw to show World's Smallest Violin)
* WrongGenreSavvy: Mr. Krabs in ''Born Again Krabs''. He thinks it's AllJustADream and he's in the hospital "sleepin' like a baby"... until he gets the bill.
* WrongRestaurant:
** In "[[Recap/SpongebobSquarepantsS3E3TheBullyJustOneBite The Bully]]", Patrick calls Mrs. Puff's Boating School, thinking he called Pizza Castle, and tries to order a pizza. [=SpongeBob=] is actually glad Patrick called, and hopes he will stand up to Flats for him. Unfortunately for [=SpongeBob=], Flats is Patrick's old community college buddy.
** In "Pizza Delivery", someone calls the Krusty Krab for a pizza by mistake. Not one to miss out on a quick buck, Mr. Krabs smashes some Krabby Patties into a pizza and has [=SpongeBob=] and Squidward deliver it. HilarityEnsues.
** In "Squidville", [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick are at the gate to Tentacle Acres, where Squidward has moved. Patrick mistakes the intercom for a take out window and makes an order.
** In 'Seance Schmeance", an old man keeps coming to the Krusty Krab mistaking it for the restaurant that was there before, asking for a certain sandwich. Mr. Krabs holds a seance to find the recipe and get rid of the customer once and for all.
** In "Komputer Overload", a customer is at the drive thru of the Chum Bucket and keeps trying to order items that the Krusty Krab sells. Plankton angrily tells the customer that they don't sell any of those items, and if he wants any of those, he should go to the Krusty Krab.
* XtremeKoolLetterz: The Krusty Krab.
* XMustNotWin: While usually fine defending his own business, Mr Krabs is sometimes shown to have an unsettling grudge towards any minor success his rival Plankton gains, even so much as gaining ''one'' customer is enough for him to start on an obsessive vendetta in stealing Plankton's "business."
* YankTheDogsChain: Some episodes tend to do this to both Squidward and Plankton. Used so often in the later seasons that it's almost the show's signature trope, especially with Squidward.
** [=SpongeBob=] whenever he tries to get his driver's license.
* YesMan: The Jellyspotters
* YesNoAnswerInterpretation: From "Chimps Ahoy":
--> '''Dr. Marmalade''': Lord Reginald, are you all right? ''[shrieks and explosions are heard]'' I'm sorry, was that a "yes"?
* YesVirginia: "Christmas Who?"
* YouCanSayThatAgain: [=SpongeBob=] utters the line in the episode "The Two Faces of Squidward", after Patrick says "We're not just neighbors...", and Patrick, as one might expect, follows through.
* YourCostumeNeedsWork: "That's the worst [=SpongeBob=] costume I've ever seen!" - Passenger on a train ride that ''[=SpongeBob=] himself'' is driving in the episode "The Krusty Sponge"
* YourEyesCanDeceiveYou: A method used by one driving teacher...and it actually works! But now [=SpongeBob=] can only drive safely while blindfolded.
* YouNeedABreathMint: A bystander offers one to Mr. Krabs in "Hooky" after he yells in his ear about "the hooks".
* YouNoTakeCandle: Patrick's sister, Sam.
* YourTelevisionHatesYou: In "Idiot Box", Squidward is trying to forget about [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick playing in their box, but everything on TV is about boxes, even [[VisualPun boxing]].
* ZanyCartoon: Big time.
* ZillionDollarBill: In "Goodbye, Krabby Patty?", thanks to [[spoiler: the gigantic success of frozen Krabby Patty]], Mr.Krabs receives what seems to be a 100 million dollars check, only to find out there's [[UpToEleven plenty more zeroes written all the way to its back]], making the amount to be 100 ''nonillion''[[note]]that's thirty zeroes[[/note]] dollars.