YMMV / SpongeBob SquarePants


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  • Accidental Aesop: SpongeGuard On Duty: If someone is drowning, save diving into the water as a last resort, otherwise you'll risk drowning yourself.
    • "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" has been looked at by some as a commentary on the mistreatment wives and mothers often face from neglectful, All Take and No Give husbands, and (more obviously) why dividing responsibilities while co-parenting is important.
  • Accidental Innuendo: "Dude, put that thing away! There are, like, children here!" explanation 
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Is Plankton a ruthless Card-Carrying Villain trying to cheat his way to success by stealing the Krabby Patty formula, or is he a Jerkass Woobie who has been driven to unscrupulous tactics due to Mr. Krabs's obsessive bullying?
    • SpongeBob:
      • Is a sweet, clueless and innocent Man Child, a Stepford Smiler hiding a depressed and disturbed personality, or a sociopath using a childish facade to torment others? Or all three at the same time?
      • Does he just want to be friends with Squidward/sees him as a brother-figure, or does he have a legitimate crush on him?
      • Is SpongeBob naïve in his torment to Squidward or is he pretending to be naïve so that he can get away with tormenting Squidward?
      • When faced with a life-or-death situation, is he really just annoying, or does he act deliberately annoying so his captors will release him? "The Tattletale Strangler," "Born Again Krabs," and "Welcome to the Chum Bucket" imply that this is one of Spongebob's clever tactics to escape from danger.
    • Squidward: a jerkass who deserves his Butt Monkey status, or the show's biggest woobie? Does he completely hate Spongebob, or does he care about him deep down?
    • Mr. Krabs can be a decent boss who cares slightly about SpongeBob, or otherwise a greedy Jerkass. Does he have a Freudian Excuse for his actions?
    • It is highly possible that Patrick is suffering from low self-esteem and lack of confidence, if episodes "Big Pink Loser", "No Hat For Pat" and "Sing a Song of Patrick" are anything to go by. This might explain some of Patrick's behaviour.
    • Patrick is a sociopath who knowingly does dumb, stupid and often assholish things just because he knows his low intelligence (Or facade of it) will keep him from punishment. There's a throwaway line in "The Card" that supports this:
      Patrick: Spongebob, you can't always expect my usual brand of stupidity. I like to mix it up; keep you on your toes.
    • The townspeople of Bikini Bottom: Friendly and good-natured citizens, with occasional jerk moments, but nice people overall or group of callous and unpleasant individuals who bully each other and have sadistic tendencies and possibly hate Sandy because she is a land animal?
    • The policemen of Bikini Bottom: Honest and well-intentioned cops, but sometimes a bit gullible and with few shades of Good Is Not Nice or useless and corrupt assholes who do not help others or respond to any crimes and instead pick on innocent people and punish them for minor things?
    • Does Granny from "Have You Seen This Snail?" actually eat snails, or does she just overfeed them to death? Seriously, we don't actually know which.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Mostly averted. This is one of the few, if not the only, still-running children's cartoons you will hear people openly obsess about without being mocked. The show itself also manages to include very questionable content (see the Nausea Fuel page for details).
  • Anvilicious: The educational short "The Endless Summer" (originally released during Season 4 as part of Earth to America). Oddly, it's less grating than the average episode, as at least Mr. Krabs gets his just desserts.
  • Archive Panic: Having run for over a decade, this series has 200+ episodes, 5 movies, 13 video games, 4 shorts, and no end in sight.
  • Ass Pull:
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • "Plankton's Regular", where Plankton gets one single costumer, but Mr. Krabs is so greedy that he doesn't want to let Plankton have one single customer and uses unethical methods to get the same customer and the same customer hated Plankton's food in the first place and Mr. Krabs laughed at Plankton's misery, is considered one of the worst episodes of the series. But after that, episodes like "Chum Bucket Supreme" and "Chum Caverns" debuted, where Plankton gets a lot of costumers and Mr. Krabs is not evil as he was in "Plankton's Regular". Although those episodes end with Plankton losing, he loses because of his own mistakes (In "Chum Bucket Supreme" he called his customers fools) and Krabs competes ethically against Plankton, not sabotaging his chance of success like in "Plankton's Regular".
    • And speaking of "Plankton's Regular" Spongebob fully supported Mr. Krabs and was just as bad as him, but after that episode came "The Krabby Kronicle", where Spongebob was disgusted at Mr. Krabs due to the latter forcing him to write lies about his friends and working him to death on the newspaper under a threat that he will lose his job, leading Spongebob to write an article about Mr. Krabs' torture. In later episodes where Mr. Krabs is the villain, Spongebob is disgusted at his actions and is not as big a doormat as he was in previous episodes, or not being a doormat at all. In "No Hat For Pat" he was furious at Mr. Krabs for exploiting Patrick and making him injure himself for profit, in "Greasy Buffons" he objected to Mr. Krabs selling greasy food and became absolutely furious when Patrick was poisoned, in "The Cent of Money" he was absolutely furious at Mr. Krabs for exploiting Gary just to get money, and in "One Coarse Meal" he even attempts helps Plankton get revenge on Mr. Krabs when Krabs exploits Plankton's fear of whales to torment Plankton to the point of suicide. (Although this is negated at the end when he betrays Plankton anyway.)
    • "Treats!" sort of feels like an apology letter for Spongebob's behavior in "A Pal For Gary". The episode shows that SpongeBob will literally go around the world to make Gary happy.
    • Many fans see "Plankton's Pet" as a big Throw the Dog a Bone moment for Plankton after "Plankton's Regular" and "One Coarse Meal".
      • Likewise, "Enchanted Tiki Dreams" was one for Squidward.
    • Season 9 in general is considered an improvement over Seasons 6-8.
    • The newer seasons including the return of Stephen Hillenburg have also gotten fans back, considering many fans hold in account that the show was good when he was involved.
  • Awesome Moments: See this page for examples.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Badass Decay:
    • Plankton in the later seasons.
    • Sandy Cheeks, to a limited extent. In Seasons 1-3 she was the squirrel version of Chuck Norris, and did things such as lift buildings and throw them. During the Seasonal Rot, they started focusing more on her Gadgeteer Genius side. She's not all that weaker a character, but she's nothing spectacular.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Many fans consider the show to have declined in quality after the movie, with Season 4 and sometimes Season 5 being considered "meh," and Seasons 6 and onwards being mostly considered to pretty much suck ass (although some people think the show has been starting to grow a little bit in quality with Season 9). Many people link this to the series creator Stephen Hillenburg leaving the show after the movie.
    • Karen, especially since she came to prominence in the Dork Age and is partially credited for Plankton's Villain Decay. It's especially jarring because she only appears in 5 episodes in the show's pre-movie run as Plankton's Straight Man. Post-movie, she appears numerous times per season and her personality changes to that of a stereotypical naggy, jealous Housewife straight out of a '50s Dom Com.
    • Patrick has been getting a lot of hate more recently. He commonly makes things worse and causes both SpongeBob and Squidward trouble. Coupled with being a Jerk Ass and Too Dumb to Live, and you wonder why SpongeBob hasn't rejected him. Although he is still a Fountain of Memes.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The Davy Jones and Nosferatu cameos.
    • The live-action "old folk from a soda commercial" gag seen in "Sun Bleached". Done in a similar style to a Family Guy Cutaway Gag.
    • The werewolf scene from "The Great Patty Caper". Came out of nowhere? Check! Added nothing to the plot? Check! Was never mentioned again? Check!
    • In-universe (or meta) example from "I Had an Accident" that involves a gorilla with no real build up to the gorilla, and the fact the gorilla and some zebra were up to something made it more of a BLAM. The meta example comes in at the end where the family is sitting there dumbfounded and they turn off the TV, though at least it was Lampshaded.
    • The perfume department scene in "Shanghaied".
    • During a scene in "The Chaperone" in which the prom is dancing (and injuring themselves) trying to do "The Sponge", one of the fish gets chased by a giant apple. The apple was never shown before or after the scene in question, and was most likely included for Rule of Funny.
    • The face on the hot sauce drop in "Karate Choppers".
    • "All That Glitters": Once SpongeBob becomes naked to pay for a high-class spatula, he stays naked for the rest of the episode. Aside from some disturbed reactions from passerby, it's not commented on or resolved, even at the end where he reunites with his old spatula.
  • Bile Fascination: Many of the worst episodes of the show receive a lot of attention because of their bad reputation.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • "Walking Small" has the apparent moral that "you have to choose between being assertive and being nice, because there is no in-between."
    • "Tea at the Treedome" asserts that if you need something, you should ask for it. Fair enough, except that Spongebob did ask for some water, only to have Sandy ignore his request completely.
  • Broken Base: Over whether post-movie episodes are even worth watching. Some people refuse to watch anything from Season 4 onwards, while others assure that there's a decent amount of good episodes in the post-movie seasons. Some will also include Season 4 (and even Season 5 sometimes) as one of the good seasons, but bash the ones after that. Some will also say that Season 9 is a return to form.
    • The show's continued dominance in the animation category at the Kids Choice Awards. As of 2015, the show has won nine years in a row with other shows like Adventure Time and The Legend of Korra being snubbed.
  • Cargo Ship: It's practically a Running Gag at this point.
    • Technically, Plankton and Karen could count as a canon example of this.
    • Mr. Krabs and his money might count, when you think about it.
    • Mama Krabs and Plankton's giant robot.
    • Squidward and a Krabby Patty (Played for Laughs).
    • Spongebob and "Patty" (also Played for Laughs, but not as successful).
    • Squidward and his clarinet, arguably.
    • Squidward and a pickle, at least according to Patrick.
    • Patrick and the same pickle.
    • Patrick and a pole.
    • Thanks to the trailer for the second Spongebob movie, there is now a Patrick/Napolitan ice cream crack ship (lovingly dubbed "Patopolitan").

    F-P 
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • "The Bully" shows that quite often, when you're faced with a bully and your very life is in danger, authority figures will be of absolutely no help.
    • Intended to be Played for Laughs in "Stuck In The Wringer", where SpongeBob manages to walk away from the episode with the lesson that crying like a baby will get you out of your problems. However, after everything that happened, it becomes completely unfunny and unintentionally played straight.
    • "Choir Boys" demonstrates how talent can be more important than passion, with the passionate Squidward being upstaged in singing by the more talented Spongebob.
    • "Chocolate with Nuts". Patrick put it best: "Hooray for lying!"
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Be careful about saying positive things about the flanderized characters.
    • Or certain post-movie episodes in general.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For many fans, the seasons after the movie (with the exception of 4 for some) don't exist. As for individual episodes, "A Pal for Gary" and "One Coarse Meal" get this the most.
  • Fountain of Memes: Patrick is the best example here.
  • Franchise Original Sin: While Mr. Krabs is often derided as having been Flanderized into an unlikeable jackass in post-movie seasons, at least two pre-movie episodes ("Krabby Land" and "Jellyfish Jam") feature him in an unambiguously antagonistic role. What probably keeps those two episodes from receiving so much fan hate is that they end with him getting what's coming to him.
  • Funny Moments: Enough to warrant a page devoted to the topic.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • When Sqiudward tries to enter The Krusty Krab to indulge his secret love of Krabby Patties, he gets covered in oil, and a robot appears and gets a torch, causing the Krusty Krab to burn twice. The scene aired after the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11.
    • One episode, SpongeBob shouts 'Holy Oil Spill!' as Mermaid Man's rivals appear.
    • In an earlier episode where Spongebob and Patrick steal a balloon, it pops and they panic. Patrick says this little gem right here:
    Patrick: "We're not talking about some dumb mail fraud scheme or a hijacking! WE STOLE A BALLOON!"
    (A few months after the episode aired, 9/11, the anthrax letters and hijacking of Flight 793 occurred. Coincidence or foreshadowing?)
    • Sandy Cheeks has become one after a hurricane bearing her name tore through New Jersey.
    • The "Remembering SpongeBob" montage from "The Sponge Who Could Fly" is heartbreaking if you think about it as remembering pre-Seasonal Rot SpongeBob.
    • All the negative experience Squidward has had with police officers (from the ticket for littering in "Squid on Strike" to thinking he's under arrest for kicking a box in "Idiot Box") are uncomfortable to watch after his voice actor got arrested.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Spongebob is asexual and can reproduce by budding... because he's a sponge. Stephen Hillenburg did not waste his marine biology degree with this show.
    • In "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost", when Squidward is deciding where he wants his "throne" to be laid down, he complains that some spots are "too hot", "too wet", and "Toulouse-Lautrec", and then cuts to a painting of his re-done with fish.
    • "Shell of a Man" has a character by the name of Iron Eye. It turns out his "iron eye" was really made of formica. Quite an obscure thing to slip into a kid's show.
    • Man Ray
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Season 2 is when people really started paying attention to the series.
    • Season 9 could also be considered this, for being an improvement over previous seasons with episodes like "Plankton's Pet", which is considered one of the best post-movie SpongeBob episodes.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II", Mermaid Man's speech to Barnacle Boy after the latter berates Spongebob. Some of the words being "Don't squash his enthusiasm. After all, he could be the hero of tomorrow, or the villain. Sound familiar?!
    • In the early episode "Patty Hype", Mr. Krabs panics when he mistakes SpongeBob's green "Pretty Patty" for a spoiled burger and immediately torches it, as a responsible restaurant owner might. In later episodes like "Born Again Krabs" and "The Krusty Sponge", Mr. Krabs is more than willing to sell tainted patties for a profit.
    • Given how extreme bullying has become recently the early episode of "The Bully" can be more unsettling than funny.
    • The scenes where Mrs. Puff refuses to help Spongebob and when Spongebob is mistakenly punished are especially cringeworthy.
    • There's a scene in "Band Geeks" where Squidward orders the flag twirlers to spin as fast as they can. Unfortunately, they go so fast they are propelled into the air and crash into a blimp, which then explodes, followed by a band member playing Taps. This episode aired four days before 9/11, which makes this matter worse.
    • Some of the most reviled episodes of the show even make it hard to watch previous episodes. Try watching "Friend or Foe" and "Best Frienemies" after "One Coarse Meal", or try watching "Have You Seen This Snail?" and "A Pal for Gary" in succession.
    • In recent years, Plankton's Catch Phrase ("I went to college!") has been adopted by many Millennials, who grew up watching this show, as a cynical bit of Gallows Humor referencing the declining worth of Bachelor's Degrees in The New Tens job market.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Again, it gets its own page.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The loud buzzing sound that came with the live-action deerfly close-ups in the episode "Wormy".
    • In "SB-129", Squidward travels through time and ends up in a blank white void. He remarks to himself that he can finally be alone... which is when the word manifests itself as a colorful caption. Then a series of disembodied voices start saying the word "alone", accompanied by more colorful representations of the word, until Squidward finally snaps and tries to get out. Just those calm, echoing voices that repeat the word "alone".
    • The squeaky boots and Mr. Krabs.
    • The voice of the drop of Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce in "Karate Choppers".
  • He Really Can Act:
    • This was the show that put Tom Kenny on the map as a, more-or-less, seriously regarded and acclaimed voice actor. Not only is his vocal range very impressive (high-pitched and giggly one minute, low and suave the next, impeccable French accent) but unlike a lot of voice actors, Tom Kenny can actually cry very convincingly. Any scene that involves Spongebob crying is heartbreaking because of Tom Kenny's poignant voice acting. Kudos to him!
    • A little credit should be given to Mr Lawrence, too! The voice actor of Plankton was actually a writer and storyboard artist on the show before landing the role of Plankton - and what an impressive voice it is!
    • Like Tom Kenny, Roger Bumpass displays superb emotional range when he lends his voice to the character Squiward. His voice acting in episodes like "Dying for Pie" really pack an emotional punch.
  • Hilariousin Hindsight: Has it's own page.
  • Ho Yay: Take a look at this page.
  • Hype Backlash: Tends to happens with specials, especially "Truth or Square" for all its lies.
  • I Am Not Shazam:
    • The villain in the episode "Frankendoodle" is named Doodlebob, not Frankendoodle (he was also called "Doodleboy" and simply "The evil doodle").
    • The neighborhood Squidward moves to in "Squidville" is never referred to by that name. It's called "Tentacle Acres."
  • Idiot Plot: "The Nasty Patty" It is even lampshaded at the end of the episode.
    Narrator: Well, that's our story. Yes, they are all idiots, aren't they?
    • Other notable examples include "Stuck in The Wringer" (Spongebob uses a wringer instead of a towel, then gets glued in by Patrick in an incomprehensible display of stupidity) or "To SquarePants or Not to SquarePants" (Spongebob is compelled to start a new life because Patrick doesn't recognize Spongebob while he's wearing round pants). It's safe to say that most plots pushed forward by Patrick will end up like this.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • SpongeBob himself have traits of this in the Seasonal Rot episodes. Particulary in episodes "Gone" and "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob". In the former, everybody in Bikini Bottom, even his own friends, abandoned him and celebrated "No Spongebob Day" and flat-out told him that they were tired of him and in the latter, his friends drive him out of town by calling him "idiot boy" in cruel ways and after that he also loses his memory. While he was Flanderized, he was still good-natured and cruelty towards him is unnecessasry. It is also possible that Spongebob became dumber and slightly meaner due to how everyone treats him, both in pre-movie and post-movie episodes.
    • Squidward may be a cranky next door neighbor to Spongebob and Patrick, but it's hard not to feel sorry for him when he is bothered rather unnecessarily, especially when his misery isn't bought upon himself.
    • Plankton can also count as this, because his evil plans came off as ineffectual, and sometimes was unnecessarily harassed by Mr. Krabs, his rival.
    • Mrs. Puff. Her husband was killed and turned into a lamp by fishermen, she was forced to skip town to Bikini Bottom at some point, her run-ins with Spongebob repeatedly lead to her being put in jail, getting fired or put in the hospital because of his stupidity... she might have gone off the deep end but its not hard to see why.
    • Pearl. Sure she is a loud and obnoxious teenager, but you have to really feel sorry for her when she has to put up with her father's cheapness. Mr. Krabs tends to neglect her in favor for money and when he has to buy something for her it is usually something cheap like combat boots. Pearl also tends to feel self-conscious for being a Huge School Girl, teased by her peers because of Mr. Krabs' antics, and only wants to have friends (she loses her friends and has new ones every episode because no one wants to be her friend, and whenever she does have friends, they are usually very critical of her).
  • Love It or Hate It: Even with not taking the Seasonal Rot into account, people are divided on whether the show is an enjoyable romp with hilarious characterization and brilliant comedic timing or an annoying, random mess that needs to take its meds.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Plankton has shades of this in earlier episodes, when his plans come pretty close to working. Brilliantly shown in F.U.N., where he nearly manages to fool Mr. Krabs.
    Krabs: "Maybe the lad is right... Maybe Plankton has turned straight."
    Krabs: "Or maybe scallops are flying out of me pants!"
  • Memetic Mutation: Enough to warrant a page all of its own.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Sandy Cheeks (a Texan squirrel) is particularly popular with people from Texas and southerners in general. It helps that she's a genius, and isn't portrayed negatively in spite of being a caricature of southern culture.
  • Moe:
    • Spongebob frequently thanks to his big, sparkly blue eyes, long girly eyelashes, and adorable, fun-loving personality.
    • Patrick lapses into this sometimes, though not to the extent of Sponge.
    • Sponge and Pat as babies.
      • ANY of the cast as babies from the episode "Goo Goo Gas." That episode was made to be as cute as possible.
    • Norton, the timid and friendly Mailman from "Squid Plus One".
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Mr. Krabs is always a miserable cheapskate, but throughout the series he became much worse and has done many cruel actions. He crosses the MEH in "One Coarse Meal" when he started exploiting Plankton's fear of whales by dressing as his daughter, Pearl, and threatening to eat him. He harassed Plankton so much, he was suicidal afterwards and after he found out that Plankton was ready to commit suicide, he simply laughed at Plankton's misery.
    • Spongebob also crossed this in "A Pal for Gary", in which he buys a nudibranch, not knowing that it will become a monster if around other pets. He then takes it home, and mistakes all those moments when "Puffy Fluffy"(which he named his new pet) scares Gary for Gary being mean to Puffy Fluffy. Then, later at night, Puffy Fluffy then turns into a worm-like beast with Saarlac-esque tounges. In the morning, Puffy Fluffy still attacks Gary, and Spongebob walks in on them, but scolds Gary for being mean to Puffy Fluffy, despite having fucking seen what Puffy Fluffy was doing to Gary! Then Puffy Fluffy begins to eat Spongebob, but Gary saves him(which resulted in the beast running away), but Spongebob was still mad at Gary. I just can't believe the writers had to make Spongebob a Jerk Ass and a dumb fuck in this episode!
    • Granny crosses the line in the episode "Have You Seen This Snail?", when Gary discovers that she has killed other snails (most likely they died from sheer overeating and then Granny simply ate them herself, though it's not made clear), and then she tries to do the same with Gary. In fact, unlike the examples of Mr. Krabs, her Moral Event Horizon is not played for laughs and in the same episode, the things got very serious.
    • Plankton brainwashing and enslaving Bikini Bottom in The Movie. In addition, he was willing to want to kill SpongeBob, and Patrick in some scenes.
    • Mrs. Puff entering Spongebob in a demolition derby in hopes that he will die, and then later actively trying to kill him in "Demolition Doofus".
    • The members of the Cephalopod Lodge kicking Squidward out of the lodge, simply because Spongebob and Patrick were following him. In a manner of speaking, SpongeBob was right in saying that it was the lodge leader's fault for kicking Squidward out.
  • Narm:
    • "This Grill Is Not a Home" from the episode "Welcome to the Chum Bucket" is actually a really sad song, but it's broken by Mr. Krabs' bizarre Louis Armstrong singing voice.
    • In "The Krabby Kronicle," there's the scene near the end where Mr. Krabs is exposed for making fake stories for his newspaper. Considering how Krabs was acting throughout most of the episode, this scene should provide some satisfaction...except it's easy to get distracted by one female fish whose voice actress is delivering her lines in an extremely over-the-top manner.
      Female Fish: "HOW CAN YOU DO THAT TO SUCH AN INNOCENT CHILD?! IT IS SICK AND INHUMANE!!!"
    • If not handled tactfully, SpongeBob's crying tends to turn into this. YMMV on this one, because one person's Crowning Moment of Funny is another person's Tear Jerker.
  • Nausea Fuel: Especially in the post-movie episodes. It even gets its own page.
  • Never Live It Down
    • Mr. Krabs driving Plankton to suicide and poisoning people are this amongst the fandom.
    • Mrs. Puff trying to kill Spongebob.
    • Spongebob's behavior in the infamous "A Pal For Gary" episode.
    • Every April Fool's Day, Squidward's cruel "prank" in "Fools in April" becomes this to fans. It's been over ten years and people still talk about it with distaste.
    • "Breath of Fresh Squidward" could have been about Spongebob receiving Laser-Guided Karma for his treatment of Squidward, instead it's eleven minutes of Protagonist-Centered Morality and massive hypocrisy on Spongebob's part.
    • For the show itself, the toenail scene from House Fancy. Whenever people are complaining about the show's declining quality, that scene is almost always brought up as the straw that broke the camel's back.
    • In another meta example, writers Casey Alexander and Zeus Cervas will likely never live down the poorly-received episodes they wrote, even after moving on and proving themselves as capable writers on Uncle Grandpa (for Casey), Star vs. the Forces of Evil (for Zeus), and Harvey Beaks (also for Zeus).
  • Nightmare Fuel: A pageful!
  • No Problem with Licensed Games:
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The "DEEEUUAGH" fish, who shows up for about five seconds in "Something Smells", has spawned a meme.
    • Probably one of the only shows to feature this for a location; Rock Bottom has only been visited in one episode in the first season (of nine), but a level based on it appears in almost every video game based on the series and has a roller coaster themed around it in the Mall of America.
    • The Jerkass fish who falsely insisted that he had ordered a drink with his pizza in the Pizza Delivery episode is very remembered for making Spongebob cry and causing Squidward to shove the thing in his face. One of the most unpleasant people in the series, only one major appearance.
    • The Drill Sergeant Nasty Threatening Shark that tries to teach Spongebob in "Mrs. Puff, You're Fired".
    • The nameless Eel lady in "Your Shoe's Untied" because of her single line and being a very adorable Woobie.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Most online reactions to Season 4 and beyond, which were done without the level of input from creator Stephen Hillenburg as the preceding 3 seasons. Hence the cheers from the fanbase when Stephen Hillenburg was announced to be the main writer for the second Spongebob Squarepants movie, and the series after that.
  • Painful Rhyme:
    • From "Party Pooper Pants"'s Framing Device: "Down, down, down to the bottom of the sea/Where we wait for SpongeBob and his snail Gary..."
    • The oft-maligned musical special "Atlantis Squarepantis" has so many it could most likely fill up its own page, but by far the most egregious example is this line from "Fueling the Bus":
    Sandy: "With all their advanced science, and my painfully enlarged mind!"
    Clone Sandy: "I bet we can figure out how to make wondrous things, like melons with edible rinds!"
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • With Ascended Memes ranging from Spengbab in "Face Freeze", to borderline Dude, Not Funny! by Ascending the creepypasta, "Squidward's Suicide" in "Are You Happy Now?", it's becoming increasingly obvious in the new seasons that the writers want to appeal more to its adult base and seems to forget most of the time that they're supposed to be writing a children's show.
    • In the irony of this, the show became more childish than the pre-movie ones, relies on disgusting, crude jokes instead of ridiculous jokes that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults with some surreal stuff.
  • Periphery Demographic: College students, even more so in recent years due to the teens/adults who grew up watching the show as kids. This led to SpongeBob and friends becoming prime memetic material.
  • Popcultural Osmosis: Look up "Living in the Sunlight" or "Sweet Victory" and this show will definitely be mentioned.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: With a couple exceptions; see No Problem with Licensed Games above.

    Q-Z 
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Spongebob gets this sometimes. Although he has been flanderized into an annoying, obnoxious man-child, he can still be a nice guy, depending on the episode, yet some fans demonize him even when he doesnít cause trouble.
    • Mrs. Puff is this and the Draco in Leather Pants. Fans hate her, ignoring the fact that Spongebob has landed her in the hospital and she has no reason to like or respect him, while other fans actually wanted her to succeed in killing Spongebob.
    • Squidward gets this and the Draco in Leather Pants treatment (even though he isnít a villain without any redeeming qualities). Some fans hate Squidward because of the way he treats Spongebob and Patrick, ignoring the fact that Spongebob and Patrick annoy him to no end and wonít let him have any breathing space, when all Squidward wants to do is relax. Plus, some of them think that he deserves his Butt Monkey status simply because he doesn't like Spongebob and Patrick. Other fans treat him like a saint because he is a Butt Monkey and gets endless abuse, forgetting the fact that he acts like a jerk sometimes and does indeed deserve at least some of the abuse that is handed to him, depending on the episode.
    • Plankton is also subjected to this AND Draco in Leather Pants. While he has done some genuinely bad things, there are those who make it like he's always acting so terrible and ignore the episodes where he's hardly villainous, if at all. Sure, he does bad things some times, but it's okay to notice when he's doing things like, say, saving Karen's life, competing more legitimately with Krabs (albiet, often gloating over small victories), showing that he has standards, or treating Squidward like an actual, valued employee. He's not wholly on the side of good or anything, but far from the monster his detractors make him out to be.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • More fans would sympathize with Plankton because of Mr. Krabs' constant bullying towards his failures, and actively trying to make Plankton as miserable as possible ("Plankton's Regular").
    • To a more varied scenario, fans would root for Squidward ever since he's become more prone to Kafka Komedy; with SpongeBob and Patrick making his life a living hell.
    • A surprising amount of viewers were rooting for Mrs. Puff trying to kill SpongeBob in "Demolition Doofus".
  • The Scrappy: After undergoing massive Flanderization, some characters started to become actively hated by the fandom.
    • Mr. Krabs. Many fans just want to see him suffer a truly horrible fate, like he almost did in the movie. Recent episodes have seen his rivalry with Plankton devolve into making his life hell just for fun, feeding poison or rotten food to his customers intentionally for the sake of an extra dollar, or extorting and abusing his employees. The fact that he gets away with these at least 80% of the time doesn't . According to writers and the creator himself, Krabs is supposed to look as bad (if not worse) than Plankton himself. It's just the matter of letting him get away with it that they and the audience seem split over.
    • Patchy gets extra points for being a Scrappy since the early days.
    • Pearl is incredibly annoying, loud... and generally disliked.
    • Patrick. Full stop, and this was even in the early day when most fans found the show good. While it was at least mild and tolerable he was a pretty bad friend in certain episodes (Hooky, I'm With Stupid and Life of Crime to name a few) it got tons worse in recent seasons. The episode, The Card, probably being the most infuriating to most fans as Patrick flat out admits his stupidity is on purpose.
    • Another tragic example of the show's Seasonal Rot Flanderization is the titular sponge himself. He has become increasingly annoying with a voice so high its gives Cosmo's a run for its money. He also has regular What an Idiot moments. In the episode where Mrs. Puff attempts to kill him, many were on her side.
    • You could make the case that just about all of Bikini Bottom's townspeople have become this. Not only are they often portrayed as total idiots (as can be seen in Greasy Buffoons, where they would stuff themselves with pure grease despite knowing it's unhealthy to do that), they are also very often portrayed as irredeemable jerkasses. The biggest examples of this are The Sponge Who Could Fly, in which they are unnecessarily cruel to Spongebob for wanting to fly, take advantage of him once he does with inflated pants, and shoot him down when he has the gall to want some personal time (and they only care about the pants getting ripped from the attack, not Spongebob getting knocked out from dropping to the ground), Someone's in the Kitchen with Sandy, in which they humiliate Sandy for walking around "naked" in town (most of these guys do not have that much clothing either), and Little Yellow Book, in which they laugh about Spongebob's diary secrets read by Squidward, and yet they all pick on Squidward and Squidward alone for having read from Spongebob's diary and laughed about it... even though they did the same damn thing. Their Scrappy status has now increased as of the second movie, where their jerkassery was Up to Eleven when they started to hate Spongebob after they ran out of Krabby Patties and were willing to kill him at one point (at least before Spongebob offered himself as a sacrifice to the "Sandwich Gods"). Especially ironic considering the movie saved most of the other characters from the scrappy heap.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Post-movie episode haters have multiple scapegoats: Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, Derek Iversen, Sean Charmatz and Paul Tibbit. However, some of these people have worked on the show from the beginning, and are considered better as artists than writers.
  • Seasonal Rot: The show never was the same from Season 4 onwards.note  Once it started back up, the show became much more grotesque compared to the earlier seasons - post-movie seasons have Vulgar Humor, massive flanderization of various cast members (with some being flanderized into ditzes at best and designated heroes at worst), occasional dark humor, creepy Nausea Fuel, and overall less charm.
    • The general consensus is that Season 4 was when the rot kicked in, and Seasons 5 and 6 were the peak of the rot.note  Seasons 7 and 8 are... "mixed" among fans. The good episodes in them are generally an improvement from Season 6, but the bad episodes in them include some of the most reviled episodes of the show.note 
      • In turn, many fans agree that Season 9 is a major improvement on Seasons 5-8, with most of the episodes being praised.note 
    • As many people have pointed out, there's no single reason for the show's Dork Age. It was a combination of the change in staff after the show's revival, its popularity giving it immunity from the censors, and Nickelodeon ordering larger amounts of episodes due to the network's overreliance on the show.
    • Even the Pre-Movie era suffered seasonal rot to some people. The latter half of Season 3 gave us only a couple of really good episodes and was the first time the show gave us several bad episodes (like "Party Pooper Pants", "The Great Snail Race" and "Krabby Land"). It's just not that noticeable because Season 4 started out a lot more consistent in it's good episodes.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Spandy (Spongebob and Sandy) fans and all of the Spongebob slash-fans seem to constantly be at each other's throats whenever people start to discuss the pairings that they like and don't like (or at least the very militant ones are). The slash fans tend to ignore that Word of God said at one point that Spongebob had a chaste crush on Sandy, the Spandy fans often ignore all of the Ho Yay, and everybody seems to ignore the fact that Word of God has also stated that Spongebob's Asexual. It's gotten so bad that usually the Spandy fans are generally assumed to be idiotic and either homophobic or anti-gay, and that the slash fans are similarly assumed to be heterophobic porn-addicts who act like they're better than the others.
  • Snark Bait: The post-movie episodes are prime targets.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped
    • "Pizza Delivery" shows with brutal honesty that some people are very ungrateful, won't forgive others for mistakes, and will nitpick over the tiniest detail, especially when it involves fast-food.
    • "Not Normal" shows that your quirks are what make you special and that "fitting in" really isn't worth it.
    • "Squirrel Jokes" shows how hurtful racist and sexist jokes can be. Considering SpongeBob's main demographic, it's a very good moral.
    • "Ripped Pants" shows that you shouldn't do stupid, humiliating things to yourself just to get attention and praise from other people- and faking serious injuries as a practical joke is not funny.
    • "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic" shows, quite painfully and honestly, that your idols aren't always the great people you assume them to be, and that hero worship is unhealthy.
    • "Can You Spare A Dime" shows that sometimes, people will take advantage of your kindness- and when they do, do not allow them to walk all over you.
  • So Okay, It's Average:
  • Suspiciously Similar Song
  • Tainted by the Preview: The preview commercials before the show came out made it look INCREDIBLY stupid. Thankfully, that turned out not to be the case.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: From "Truth or Square", we have Patchy getting humorously dissed by Triumph, the Insult Dog.
    Patchy: This is Patchy the Pirate, President of The SpongeBob SquarePants fanclub!
    Patchy: What?!
  • Tear Jerker: Got its own page.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Many fans of the earlier seasons claim that seasons 4 and onwards are downright awful because the mood of the show changed considerably due to changes in the staff.
    • An in-universe example occurs in "Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture", where Spongebob boycotts the Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy movie for not casting the elderly stars from the TV show he loves for the main roles.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Bubble Bass could've been a good Arch-Enemy to SpongeBob, but he only appeared in the series three times, the latest one being a cameo in the episode where Plankton grows a second eye using Spongebob's DNA. "Pickles" is the only episode in which he has a major role.
    • Kevin. He could have been an interesting Evil Counterpart to Spongebob, but he only appeared once.
    • Lord Royal Highness in Atlantis Squarepantis. A lot of people point out that the character voiced by David Bowie of all people is the one character to never get a song in a Musical Episode.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot
    • "Truth or Square" was nothing but this. You get to see Sandy and Spongebob married (sorry, you just get a play), Plankton has the perfect chance to steal the Krabby Patty formula (he shows up for less then five minutes and doesn't even have a plan) and learn the secret of the Krabby Patty formula (they cut it off). Everything that is not a wasted plot line is either an answer you wouldn't care about or a waste of time (and talent, given that most of the celebrities who made cameos did nothing).
    • In Spongebob vs. the Big One, they said in the episode and in the trailers that "one of you will not return." They all ended up returning safely. However, Jack Kahuna Laguna never said that someone would die nor did he say that nobody would make it back to the main land. Since he technically made it back to the main land with them, he's actually the one that "will not return" to his home, the island.
    • In Whatever Happened To Spongebob, had a decent plot of Spongebob running away after the people got angry and called him "Idiot Boy". Plus, it had a decent Easy Amnesia plot device in Spongebob but it was rushed and half-assed throughout the whole thing.
    • "Atlantis Squarepantis", according to some. It doesn't help that you have a Musical Episode where the character played by David Bowie doesn't even get to sing.
    • "Gramma's Secret Recipe" could have been Plankton sneaking into the Krusty Krab disguised as an old woman to steal the formula (he even has an Imagine Spot about it). But he makes the pointless decision of telling SpongeBob he's his great grammy-ma and wounds up spending time with him for the majority of the episode.
    • "Fools in April" and "Christmas Who" are this when you realize that both involve Squidward being a jerk to Spongebob and making up for it only for the apology to be diminished somehow. In the former, everything from Spongebob crying to the angry townspeople, was a bigger prank on Spongebob's end, and more than a few viewers felt a little cheated out of a genuine, sweet ending with Sponge and Squid. In the latter, Squidward doesn't actually apologize to Spongebob, but instead dresses as Santa Claus and brings Christmas to Bikini Bottom. Spongebob thinks that he's Santa, and when Sponge sees Squidward out of the disguise, he's not hurt by how much of an asshole Squid was to him earlier.
    • As many have pointed out about the episode "Spongebob, You're Fired", the plot involving Spongebob making top notch snail food could have made for an interesting turn of events, but instead is immediately dropped for a plot that ends in a nonsensical battle between Burger Fool mascots instead.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Parodied loads of times.
    "Now, you must acquire a taste for free-form jazz!"
  • Ugly Cute
    • Baby Squidward in Goo Goo Gas, amongst many other things. His far-apart eyes make him look like a hei-tiki pendant.
    • Squidward, full stop. So he's not marketably cute like the rest of the cast, but he has more range in facial expression than any other character on the show and a hugely appealing design. And being a Perpetual Frowner, When He Smiles, it helps.
    • Plankton. He's so small!
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The "even more Handsome Squidward" from the episode "The Two Faces of Squidward".
    • Moar Krabs.
    • "Who you callin' Pinhead?"
    • Intentionally invoked with "Normal" Spongebob. Not necessarily because of his appearance, but because of his Creepy Monotone voice and mannerisms.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Plankton and Squidward.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Patrick is meant to be an adorkable ditz who acts as one of Spongebob's best friend but his Jerkass acts to Spongebob and the other citizens and his selfishness makes fans wonder why are they best friends. Here are some examples:
    • In "Stuck in the Wringer." Spongebob lashing out at him is supposed to be some kind of horrible act, but considering Patrick was the cause of everything bad that happened in that episode many people would rather side with Spongebob.
    • "Nature Pants" and "Valentine's Day." Patrick goes on scary rampages in both episodes because he feels abandoned by Spongebob.
    • "I'm With Stupid." After SpongeBob volunteers to act dumb to impress Patrick's parents, Patrick forgets the plan and makes many hurtful comments aimed at him. It goes to the point where - failing to explain his true intelligence - Spongebob leaves in a huffing rage, Patrick's "parents" turn out to be total strangers, and Patrick gets away with his actions.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Squidward.
    • Plankton. He may be the most hated creature in Bikini Bottom, but many fans like him more than Krabs (especially in later seasons).
    • To a lesser extent, even SpongeBob and Patrick. They tend to drive everyone mad with their annoying tendencies, to the point where there are holidays dedicated to getting away from them.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The episode "Mooncation" as animation on par with that of The Movie.
  • Wangst
    • Pearl spends most of the time whining about her father not caring about her when he is cheap.
    • SpongeBob whining about getting one noodle star taken away, when he still had the most stars out of his classmates. Probably meant to be Played for Laughs.
    • SpongeBob whining about his broken spatula in "All That Glitters".
    • Squidward slips into this quite a bit. Lampshaded by Mr. Krabs when he sees Squidward visiting a grave he had made for his hopes and dreams.
    "What a baby"
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit: "Whale of a Birthday" first aired in 2006. It involves Spongebob getting Pearl's favorite boy band "Boys Who Cry" for her sixteenth birthday. By the mid 2000s, boy bands such as the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC had gone out of fashion. Thankfully, the show has avoided this trope since then.
  • What an Idiot: Has its own page.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Where do we start? Not only is there a huge amount of gross violence and Nightmare Fuel, especially in the post-movie seasons, but there are all kinds of dirty references ("Patrick, your genius is showing!" Where?") and Ho Yay, including Spongebob and Patrick raising a child like a married couple in one episode! (It Makes Sense in Context.)
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?
    • "Squidward in Clarinet Land"
    • Karate Island maybe.
    • The White Void Room scene in "SB-129".
    • "Welcome to Squidward's Tiki Land..."
    • The Fly of Despair from "Shanghaied".
    • The show itself is about a sponge living in a pineapple under the sea.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: Specific to Norway, but irritating nonetheless. SpongeBob's Norwegian actor (the same who played Ickis from "AAHH!! Real Monsters!"), recognized for his typecasting with "unstable" characters, was for reasons unknown replaced by Trond Teigen (famous for his role as Aladdin, among other action roles). The latter actor's attempts at imitating the former actor's psychotic performance come across as forced and shoehorned into an already decaying series.
  • Win Back the Crowd
  • The Woobie:
    • Spongebob has traits of this, (particularly in his season one era personality,) because of his Fragile Flower nature and the fact that he just doesn't understand that Squidward, and a lot of other people, despise him just for existing and being his eager, peppy self.
    • Mrs. Puff as well.
    • Plankton used to be a Jerkass Woobie, but devolves into one after Seasonal Rot.
    • Patrick if you think about it. He's unemployed, everyone except for Spongebob regards him as being a total moron, he's disrespected constantly, and can't seem to be good at anything. The latter depresses him so much in one episode he vows to be good at something. Even his own parents think he's stupid! (They're right, but his feelings are still hurt by their bluntness.) In the later episodes "Sing a Song of Patrick" and "No Hat for Pat," this is explored in a bit more detail.
    • Gary, due to being the only sane person in the show and being abused in several episodes.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/SpongeBobSquarePants