YMMV / SpongeBob SquarePants


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  • Acceptable Targets:
    • Geeks, as seen with the comic collectors in "No Weenies Allowed." Given that Spongebob and Patrick are also geeks who collect superhero comic books, this could be an example of self-deprecation on part of the writers, many of whom also have careers as comic artists/writers.
    • Acceptable Lifestyle Targets: In "Shanghaied", Spongebob wishes for the Flying Dutchman to become a vegetarian so he won't eat Patrick, Squidward, and him. He then transforms into an ultra-hippie.
  • Accidental Aesop: SpongeGuard On Duty: If someone is drowning, save diving into the water as a last resort, otherwise you'll risk drowning yourself.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • "Dude, put that thing away! There are, like, children here!" explanation: 
    • Spongebob's line towards Mrs. Puff in "No Free Rides": "See you next Tuesday". note 
  • Adaptation Displacement: It's a little known fact that the show, its setting and the art style were largely based on an educational comic that Stephen Hillenberg used to write and draw called The Intertidal Zone. This is forgivable, as the comic was mostly only distributed at the marine biology institute he used to teach at before becoming an animator.note 
  • Alternative 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 he a sweet, clueless and innocent Manchild, 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? "Plankton", "Shanghaied", "The Tattletale Strangler", "Born Again Krabs", "Welcome to the Chum Bucket" and "The Getaway" imply that this is one of SpongeBob's clever tactics to escape from danger.
      • Did Spongebob betray Plankton at the end of "One Coarse Meal" out of loyalty to Mr. Krabs or did he play both Krabs and Plankton to teach Mr. Krabs a lesson and get back in his good books at the same time?
    • 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?
      • His background brought up in "Friend or Foe?" seems to indicate that Mr. Krabs came to view money as a sort of power, and the reason he is so obsessed is because he doesn't wish to be poor in any way possible like he was as a child.
    • 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.
    • Is Patrick 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? Can the same be said for Spongebob? There are throwaway lines in "Home Sweet Pineapple", "I Had An Accident", and "The Card" that support this:
      Patrick: Is it time to ruin Squidward's day?! Spongebob, don't start without me!
      Sandy Don't you have to be stupid somewhere else? Patrick Not until 4:00.
      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? If the latter, does she overfeed them intentionally to kill, or does she do so with affection, unaware of the consequences?
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Nobody had faith in this show about the talking sponge, let alone knew it would be such a cultural phenomenon, when it was first pitched. The executives dismissed it as too weird and gave it No Budget. Bill Fagerbake even referred to it as "inane pulp for preschoolers" when he was first hired.
  • 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, 2 movies, more than 20 video games, several shorts, and no end in sight.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: The "HALL MONITOR!" voice and Charles Nelson Reilly's Dirty Bubble voice, among others.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The Patty Vault in "Just One Bite". Though this is likely Played for Laughs.
    • The tugboat at the end of "Nautical Novice". Status Quo Is God, and God is being a troll.
    • Shelly and Gary falling in love in "The Great Snail Race" comes out of nowhere.
  • 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, though it was because Plankton was torturing Krabs.)
    • "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 (mostly) considered an improvement over Seasons 6-8, mainly due to the fact that the writers have made the characters closer to their Season 1-3 selves.
    • 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.
    • After suffering from They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character for about a decade, Bubble Bass has recently returned as a more prominent supporting character and more frequently appearing extra likely thanks to his enduring popularity with the fandom that grew up with the show.
    • Patrick becomes a true friend towards SpongeBob in Season 9, like in Seasons 1-3 (with a few exceptions), while seasons 6-8 had fans asking for SpongeBob to just ditch Patrick.
  • 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-Breaking Character:
    • Mr. Krabs, as mentioned above under The Scrappy, although it has unfortunately almost become commonplace in the fandom to dislike his post-first movie self. In the first season, Mr. Krabs is a fatherly figure to SpongeBob with a passion for sailors/pirates who loves collecting money. His money-loving side completely consumes his character in later episodes to the point where cheapness is his single defining characteristic. Many fans find this jarring, since his cheapness has led him to commit many immoral actions. It's especially bad when you consider that Stephen Hillenburg said in an interview that he developed Krabs as a fatherlike sailor character and only added his money-loving trait later on "to give him more personality." It worked a little too well now that his entire personality revolves around money.
    • Patchy the Pirate, as also mentioned above. His appearances in two specials "Atlantis SquarePantis" and "Truth or Square" (which fans have found overhyped and subpar) have been criticized by many fans for being too long, too boring, and too out-of-place. However, these two episodes (both of which feature Patchy outside of his house) are really the main reason why he is disliked; some fans enjoy the campy feel of his older appearances, particularly because of his nostalgic house that has been discontinued. Others dislike the campiness altogether, even in the old specials.
    • Patrick Star gets a lot of hate due to his Flanderization into an insensitive Jerkass in later episodes. However, there are still many Patrick fans who prefer to ignore the Patrick of the later seasons (or later seasons in general) and still think that pre-first movie Patrick is one of the funniest characters on the show. Other fans are willing to forgive his assholish moments for still being pretty funny at times.
    • SpongeBob himself, thanks to his stupidity being exaggerated to ridiculous extremes during the seasons made after The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie and his obsession with Squidward coming off as borderline stalking. While his negative traits have been considerably toned down by Season 9, there are still as many people who find him annoying as there are people who like and sympathize with him.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: An image that spread around the internet features screenshots from the episode, "As Seen on TV" at the scene where SpongeBob is buried in the ground, leaving only his nose to be popping out. False dialogue was added on, with Mr. Krabs saying, "please tell me that is your nose".
  • 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.
    • The mailman scene from "Boating Buddies".
  • Bile Fascination: Many of the worst episodes of the show receive a lot of attention because of their bad reputation.
  • 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.
    • Season 10 and 11 have recieved a much more divisive reception compared to Season 1-3 and 9. Depending on your stance on the show being "cartoony", it's either a breath of fresh air after nearly decades of the same techniques, or too bouncy and loud to tell decent stories.
  • Can't Un-Hear It: It's hard to read any kind of time cards or a message denoting a passage of time ("Meanwhile...", "[Amount of time] later...") in any show or movie now in any voice other than Tom Kenny's Jacques Cousteau-esque narrator voice.
  • 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/Neapolitan ice cream crack ship (lovingly dubbed "Patopolitan").
    • Then there's SpongeBob and his spatula in "All That Glitters" and, to some extent, "Evil Spatula". In the former episode, SpongeBob's even portrayed as a cheating husband for getting a new, apparently more efficient and glamorous spatula after his old one breaks. Also, the spatula is referred to with male pronouns.
  • Character Rerailment: Season 9 has been doing a lot of this. SpongeBob is a Nice Guy again, Patrick's stupidity is less destructive and more genuine, Squidward suffers a lot less (and when he does, he usually brings it upon himself), and Mr. Krabs is a good guy despite his greed.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • For some, the episodes made after the first movie can be hilarious because of how far their darker jokes get.
    • "Go assault your own baby!"
    • In "Graveyard Shift" (Season 2), Squidward tells SpongeBob a (false) story about a fry-cook who accidentally cuts his hand off while cutting patties:
    Squidward: And then, he got hit by a bus! And then, at his funeral, they FIRED him!
    • "The boy cries you a sweater of tears, and you kill him."
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • In 'Little Yellow Book', none of the characters are even remotely likable from Squidward being a massive Jerkass to SpongeBob by reading his diary and bragging it towards everyone, the citizens of Bikini bottom giving Squidward a Disproportionate Retribution for reading it and being massive hypocrites throughout the episode and SpongeBob being an idiot for leaving his own diary unguarded.
    • "Demolition Doofus" has Mrs. Puff trying to murder SpongeBob for rupturing her inflation sac and disabling her for life in an accident. While she is portrayed as too Ax-Crazy to sympathize with, SpongeBob makes light of crippling her by calling her "Ms. Pop", doesn't understand why she flew into a rage from this, and thinks that she looks better deflated.
      • Considering the show has implied several times that Spongebob and Patrick aren't as oblivious as they act and do some things deliberately for their own amusement ("Home Sweet Pineapple", "Spongebob vs the Strangler", "The Card", "Choir Boys"), there's an even darker interpretation of this episode to be found here, involving Ms. Puff finally losing her mind and becoming murderous after years of her student's casual cruelty and sociopathy towards her.
  • Designated Hero:
    • SpongeBob himself in the show's later episodes can be pretty unsympathetic at times. The most infamous instant would be in "A Pal for Gary", where he mistreats Gary for bothering Puffy Fluffy even though Puffy Fluffy was actively trying to kill Gary.
    • Patrick Star's idiocy has a bad tendency to make him do insensitive and selfish things in many of the show's later episodes, like making SpongeBob's predicament worse in "Stuck in the Wringer" or abusing Gary in "Pet-Sitter Pat".
    • Mr. Krabs' flanderized greed in the later seasons caused a lot backlash, the most notorious case being in "One Coarse Meal", where he remorselessly uses Plankton's fear of whales to try and drive his rival to commit suicide.
  • Designated Monkey:
    • Squidward's Butt-Monkey role was justified more in very early episodes due to his Jerkass persona and treatment of others, his abuse has leaned more towards Comedic Sociopathy and Kafka Komedy in post-first movie seasons, with a lot of the cast (and inanimate objects) just baring an instant hatred towards him. The people who do like him aren't much help either.
    • Plankton, to some extent.
    • Mrs. Puff just wants to be left alone by SpongeBob, and even compared to Squidward and Plankton, only a handful of circumstances does she take unscrupulous measures on him. Unlike the previous two, this was not a result of Flanderization either, as she was an undeserved victim of SpongeBob's inability to drive from her first appearance.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Squidward and Mrs. Puff, Depending on the Writer.
    • SpongeBob himself in the episode Stuck in the Wringer, where he is chewed out by the townspeople for getting rightfully angry that Patrick glued him into a wringer and showed little sympathy towards SpongeBob's plight.
    • Plankton used to be an ordinary and fairly competent villain, but now that Mr. Krabs has been Flanderized into a Jerkass and Plankton has suffered Villain Decay, one can't help but side with Plankton. A good example is in "Chum Fricassee", sure he was a bit quick to rub his competitive edge in Krabs' face, but it's hardly enough to make him a villain. Taking Krabs' employee can be said to be mean, but Squidward did leave out of his own free will. The only bad thing that can be said is that he maybe should have resisted more or outright refused when Squidward told him to undercook the chum, but it was still, ultimately Squidward's idea in the first place.
    • The mob in "Bubble Buddy". For context, it was a Real After All plot twist. But the Fridge Horror of this means that Bubble Buddy really did let a man drown and hold up the bathroom for a couple of hours. Granted, screwing over Mr. Krabs might not be too damning, but the crowd still had plenty of reason to be mad.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Fans have noted that, the older they get, the more Squidward's Grumpy Bear disposition seems to resonate with them.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Plankton. It has been established that he's evil as he continued to try to take Krabs' secret formula in myriad ways. One episode even had him as a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk with him saying "Being evil is just too much fun!" He's also been shown to be a big Jerkass with all his screaming and being angry. In the first movie, he had definitely crossed the Moral Event Horizon. However, due to Flanderization and Took a Level in Jerkass on the parts of the main characters and Plankton becoming more a harmless Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain in the later seasons, most fans side with Plankton, even saying he's one of the few likable characters on the show who is not a jerk.
    • Squidward does have some redeeming qualities... at times, but he mentally and sometimes physically abuses SpongeBob because it amuses him. His absolute worst behaviour was "Can You Spare A Dime" where he takes advantage of generosity and gets no comeuppance for it. However, people who (understandably) feel sorry for him due to his endless abuse and Butt-Monkey status tend to ignore his Jerkass traits and think he's just an innocent martyr.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • There's a Facebook group dedicated to Fred the Fish, better known as the "MY LEG!" guy.
    • Squilliam Fancyson.
    • "Where's Old Man Jenkins?"
    • Tom the fish: "CHOCOLATE! ''CHOCOLAAATTTTEEEE!''"
      • Tom's Comedic Sociopath tendencies are good for all sorts of laughs. What about his appearance in "Bubble Buddy"?
    Larry the Lobster: He called us fat!
    Mr. Krabs: He owes me money!
    Scooter: He made me experience high tide!
    Tom: He poisoned our water supply, burned our crops, and delivered a plague unto our houses!
    Crowd (astonished): He did?
    Tom: NO! But are we just gonna wait around until he does???
    • DEUUEAUGH!
    • Smitty Werbenyagermanjensen: He was number one!
    • Scooter. Especially in "Bubble Buddies".
    • Bubble Buddy himself.
    • DoodleBob only appeared in one episode, but he's considered one of the more interesting antagonists. The writers seemed to agree, to the point of bringing him back in season 11's "Doodle Dimension".
    • Bubble Bass and Kevin C. Cucumber. See They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character below.
    • The extremely old fish from "Chocolate With Nuts."
    "What are they sellin'?"
    • There's an entire TV Tropes page for The Ugly Barnacle.
    • Charlton from "The Sewers of Bikini Bottom" is well liked for his Large Ham and Crazy-Prepared character and calling out Mr. Krabs for cutting corners on the plumbing.
    • The Salmon Shaman from "Sandy's Nutmare" has gained some popularity for his sage wisdom while still being comedic in a way fitting of the show.

    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!"
    • The season 1 episode "Pizza Delivery" has a genuinely serious one: working in the service industry is difficult for even the most cheerful person, and everyone has to deal with an extremely angry, ungrateful, and downright rude customer at least once in their lives. And when that happens, there's actually very little you can do about it.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Be careful about saying positive things about the flanderized characters.
    • Or certain post-first movie episodes in general.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For many fans, the seasons between the movie and its sequel (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-first movie seasons, the flanderization actually started to set in early as seasons 2 - 3. At least two pre-movie episodes ("Krabby Land" and "Jellyfish Hunter") feature him in an unambiguously antagonistic role, conning children and using jellyfish for slave labor. In "Born Again Krabs", he sells Spongebob's soul for some pocket change, and in "Clams" a completely insane Mr. Krabs forces Spongebob and Squidward to be live bait for a giant clam, considering their lives expendable, so he can reclaim a dollar. What probably keeps these episodes from receiving so much fan hate is that they (usually) end with him getting what's coming to him.
    • Patrick is notorious for being a bad, selfish friend to Spongebob in the post-movie seasons. It's often ignored by pre-movie fans that despite Patrick being a fellow troublemaker and likeminded individual, he's always been a pretty bad, two-faced friend to Spongebob, even in the pre-movie seasons. Patrick goes insane and tries to kidnap Spongebob when he goes to live with the jellyfish ("Nature Pants"), tries to murder him and a bunch of strangers when he doesn't get anything for Valentines Day ("Valentines Day"), abandons him in Rock Bottom ("Rock Bottom"), enjoys convincing Spongebob he's hideous way too much ("Something Smells"), abandons their plan to be 'grown-up' and leaves him hanging for some cookies ("Grandma's Cookies"), tries to sell Spongebob out to the cops when he can't con him out of his last chocolate bar ("Life Of Crime"), rubs Gary choosing him over Spongebob in Spongebob's face ("Dumped"), abruptly stabs Spongebob in the back so he can continue looking like the smart one to his 'parents' ("I'm With Stupid"), immediately tries to squeal on Spongebob to Mr. Krabs for swearing ("Sailor Mouth") and neglects their baby scallop Junior, leaving Spongebob with all the work raising their son for months on end while he sits on his butt watching TV ("Rock-A-Bye Bivalve"). Though, Patrick was still well-meaning due to the fact that episodes such as "Something Smells" make him come off as more Innocently Insensitive than outright malicious. Also, some of his deeds make it clear that he does not do this on purpose. Patrick becomes a meaner person from Season 4 onwards, but Patrick turning on Spongebob on a whim as soon as his interests change is hardly out-of-character for him.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With fellow Nickelodeon hit, The Loud House. Many people have compared Lincoln to SpongeBob, Lori to Squidward, Leni to Patrick, and both Lynn and Lisa to Sandy.
  • Funny Moments: Enough to warrant a page devoted to the topic.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • 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.
    • "Dying for Pie" has Squidward helping SpongeBob complete a bucket list when he thinks he's going to die. In 2017, Stephen Hillenburg was diagnosed with ALS, a terminal illness.
  • 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.
    • SpongeBob lives in a pineapple, which seems out of place for an underwater setting until one realizes that there's a type of sponge known as the pineapple sponge.
    • 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
    • In "The Bully", SpongeBob is on the constant threat of being beat up by Flatts the Flounder. In the ocean, adolescent flounder fish will feed on sponges as part of their prey.
    • Plankton is already enough of a Seldom-Seen Species, but Sheldon J. Plankton is of a very specific breed of plankton. Known as copepods, they are tiny crustaceans sporting a single eye at the center of their heads.
    • In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV", Squidward, while dawning the Captain Magma costume, unleashes a magma attack from his head by shouting "Krakatoa!" Not a lot of kids will know what this means unless they have basic knowledge in history, geography, geology, and volcanology.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show is rather popular in Japan.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Season 2 is when people really started paying attention to the series.
      • Alternatively the second "chunk" of Season 1 episodes, starting with SB-129, as that was where the animation improved, the characters got more developed, and more people were brought on to work for the series.
    • Season 9 can be considered this to the post-movie seasons, for being an improvement over previous seasons with episodes like "Plankton's Pet", which is considered one of the best post-movie SpongeBob episodes. This was taken another step further with the latter half of the season, which features Stephen Hillenburg back in the show.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • 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.
    • In "Hooky", Mr. Krabs warns SpongeBob that he could end up in a gift shop if he plays on the hooks. In The Movie, SpongeBob and Patrick die while being prepared to be sold in a gift shop.
    • Given how extreme bullying has become recently the early episode of "The Bully" can be more unsettling than funny.
      • The scenes where Mrs. Puff believing Flats' lies and Spongebob in terror 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 '10s job market.
    • In "Welcome To The Chum Bucket", Mr. Krabs sings "I'll trade it all away, if you come back to stay", referring to Spongebob, in the "This Grill Is Not A Home" song. Cut to a later episode, "Spongebob, You're Fired!", and Mr. Krabs fires Spongebob for a nickel.
    • "Barnacle Boy, don't squash his enthusiasm. After all, he could be the superhero of tomorrow... or the villain."What? 
    • In "Fear of a Krabby Patty", SpongeBob gains a fear of Krabby Patties due to being overworked, specifically that giant patties are going to eat him. In "Krabby Patty Creature Feature", science-created Krabby Patties turn anyone who eats them into mutant Krabby zombies, who spread the virus by making others eat them.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" was one of the most controversial episodes of the series due to (apparently) depicting Spongebob and Patrick as gay parents. Over a decade later, another Nicktoon has a canon gay couple in the form of Clyde's dads, which attracted a lot less controversy due to society marching on.
    • At the end of the first movie, Mr Krabs hugs Spongebob and says "I'm sorry I ever doubted you." This may be a callback to "Help Wanted", the very first episode of the show, in which Mr Krabs is hesitant about hiring Spongebob in the first place and even makes fun of him behind his back. Really shows how much closer they've become over the series.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Again, it gets its own page.
  • 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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Has its 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 unnecessary. 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 inability to drive... she might have gone off the deep end but it's not hard to see why.
    • Pearl. 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.
  • Mis-blamed: Many fans pin the blame of SpongeBob's Un-Cancellation in 2005 to the financial success of The Movie, which was originally intended to be the Series Finale. In actuality, Nickelodeon was fighting tooth and nail to revive the series between 2002-2004 due to the high ratings and merchandising the show was getting during that timespan.
  • 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 starts exploiting Plankton's fear of whales by dressing up as Pearl and threatening to eat him. He harasses Plankton so much that he becomes suicidal afterwards; after he finds out that Plankton is ready to commit suicide, he simply laughs at Plankton's misery.
    • 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 by sending a bounty hunter after them.
    • 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".
  • 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.
  • Narm Charm: Arguably, the entire show runs on Narm Charm. It's an extremely silly World of Ham populated by a cast of funny-looking characters with goofy voices, all topped off with an extremely quirky sense of humor. But the characters are written with such sincerity and charm that, when the show tries to carry itself in more heartwarming or serious moments, somehow it just works.
  • 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.
    • Inverted with Squidward. Because of a youtuber's review of the episode, a good number of fans decided that "Little Yellow Book" is the first and only episode where Squidward is a jerk, ruining "the only likable character on the show" (even if Squidward was probably worse in previous episodes like "Can You Spare a Dime?", "Who Bob What Pants?", or "Sponge-Cano"). Despite this, fans still support him, even saying Squidward can be cruel at least once, since he's usually just a Nice Guy mistreated by the other jerks on the show.
    • "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. Another candidate would be Plankton's attempted suicide in "One Coarse Meal." He lays down on the road to get run over, but the way fans talk about it, you'd think he slips a noose around his neck or slits his wrists.
    • 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).
    • While the show's been getting better from season 9 onwards, seasons 6 through 8 will most likely remain infamous for years to come, to the point that some fans will base the post-movie quality of the show only on those seasons without giving any episodes past them a chance.
    • Any of Patrick's worse deeds in post-movie episodes are still not faded into oblivion amongst fans, even after his Patrick's Character Rerailment. "The Card" gives him a ton of Ron the Death Eater treatments.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games:
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Heteronormative Crusader James Dobson's accusations of Spongebob "promoting the gay agenda" actually made the show more popular, especially among actual queer audiences. It helps that the writers of the show never confirmed or denied it (save for Stephen Hillenberg saying that Spongebob was asexual), though they later put a positive spin on Dobson's accusation by saying how wonderful it was that the show was reaching so many different groups.
  • 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 (who closely resembles recurring background character Tom) 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, and 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.
    • Bubble Bass was originally this, as he only appeared as a major character in a single episode before dropping off of the map entirely for years. Nevertheless, he's still one of the most iconic minor characters the show has ever had, and eventually grew out of this trope as the show began to employ him in a much more frequent capacity thanks to the fandom's love for him.
  • 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 returning 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 tasteless suicide jokes 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.
    • Many young people have only heard of Nosferatu thanks to his cameo appearance at the end of "Graveyard Shift".
  • 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 there are numerous post-season 3 episodes portray him as an annoying, obnoxious man-child, he can still be a nice guy, depending on the episode, yet some fans demonize him even when he doesn’t cause trouble.
    • Squidward gets this and the Draco in Leather Pants treatment (even though he isn't 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 won’t 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.
    • Patrick especially is prone to this treatment. Particularly because of his infamous quote in "The Card", fans have been outright calling him a complete sociopath when he clearly means no harm (at least for the most part). Granted, he does act insensitive towards SpongeBob in "Driven to Tears", "The Splinter", "Stuck in the Wringer", "Yours, Mine and Mine", "Oral Report", "Pet Sitter Pat", and "Little Yellow Book". But people tend to exaggerate Patrick's traits and The Mysterious Mr. Enter even called him one of the most evil characters in SpongeBob and cartoon history next to "One Coarse Meal" Krabs, even saying he's worse, despite the fact that he still has his nice moments such as "Have You Seen This Snail?" and "The Pink Purloiner".
    • 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 sometimes, but it's okay to notice when he's doing things like, say, saving Karen's life, competing more legitimately with Krabs (albeit, 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".
  • Scapegoat Creator: Post-movie episode haters have multiple scapegoats: Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, Derek Iversen, Sean Charmatz, Richard Pursel, and Paul Tibbit. However, some of these people have worked on the show from the beginning, and are considered better as artists than writers.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Mr. Krabs. While he was already something of a Base-Breaking Character in the pre-movie era due to his greed, his Flanderization in the post-movie era caused him to become near-universally despised, to the point where 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 help. 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.
    • Virtually no love has been given to Patchy the Pirate, what with him being a Stylistically Sucky, extremely obsessive SpongeBob fanboy-cum-Excited Kids' Show Host, particularly AND especially since the pre-movie days.
  • 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, occasional dark humor, Nausea Fuel, and overall less charm.
    • The general consensus is that Season 4 was when the rot kicked in, and Seasons 6 and 7 were the peak of the rot.note  Seasons 5 and 8 are... mixed among fans. The good episodes in them are generally more well received than ones from Season 6 and 7, but the bad episodes 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  Even moreso improved after Hillenburg's return later that season.
    • As many people have pointed out, there's no single reason for the show's Dork Age, just a number of reasons. It was mostly a combination of the change in staff after the show's revival, and its mid-to-late 2000s popularity causing Nick to have an overreliance on the show, leading to larger episode orders, which in turn would force the production crew to rush out episodes and turn off quality control to meet deadlines, all without the post-movie era staff trying to learn all about the show.
  • Self-Fanservice: The main male cast is normally transformed into attractive Bishounen guys in both shipping (usually Spandy/Squidbob, most people are oddly okay with non-humanized Patbob) and non-shippy fanart. Sandy herself is usually made much more curvaceous or feminine by Furry Fandom.
  • 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.
  • 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 that prejudiced jokes are lazy and can have harmful real-world effect, and if you really want to do politically incorrect humor, include everyone for the sake of fairness.
    • "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.
    • "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" shows that a person selfishly neglecting their spouse and not doing their fair share of work around the house and parenting is very bad.
    • "Sun Bleached" shows that tanning is unattractive, dangerous, and just plain stupid.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The Japanese version of the "Ripped Pants" song.
  • So Okay, It's Average:
    • How many fans feel about Season 4. It's got a few good episodes but Seasonal Rot was obviously beginning to kick in.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song
    • The techno song from "Jellyfish Jam" is very similar to the NBA song "Get Ready For This." Here's a comparison of the two.
    • The opening song from "Krusty Krab Training Video" is a near ringer for "Eye of the Tiger"
    • Lampshaded in "Spy Buddies" by one Krusty Krab customer, who, upon hearing a Suspiciously Similar Song said, "I hated the REAL version of this song".
    • Mermaidman and Barnacleboy episodes make extensive use of "The Lineman", which greatly resembles the original Batman theme.
    • The depressing song, Daytime Drama in the episode "Dumped" is in comparison with this more upbeat counterpart.
    • The title card for "Hall Monitor" has similarities to the theme for the late '60s/early '70s action show The Mod Squad.
    • The chorus sections of "Best Day Ever" bear a resemblance to Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline".
    • The music that plays in the first episode when the Krusty Krab is attacked by hungry anchovies is similar to the theme of the Simpsons.
    • In the movie, there's "Goofy Goober Rock" a cover/Song Parody of Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock".
    • Squiddy G sounds suspiciously like Brickell's "Good Times, Bad Times".
    • Even the melody of the main theme song sounds suspiciously similar to another song. In this case, it sounds like it's based on the old sea shanty "Blow The Man Down".
  • 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!: In "Truth of Square", Patchy is 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 first season in a major role a couple of times. "Pickles" is the only episode in which he has a major role, though he's recently begun to return as a more prominent supporting character, thanks to his popularity with the fans.
    • 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 than 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.
    • 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 winds 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!"
  • Tough Act to Follow: Described by Rebel Taxi as "the SpongeBob Syndrome," the show has become such a financial and pop-culture behemoth that any Nicktoon that succeeds it and isn't immediately as successful as Spongebob currently is will be canceled before its widespread appeal even has a chance to grow.
  • 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 is meant to be the villain of the series, but many fans find him more likeable than Mr. Krabs and easy to sympathize with due to always suffering humiliating defeats.
    • Squidward Tentacles' role is usually to be the jerk who actively does everything he can to make things go sour for SpongeBob and Patrick, but often suffers mishaps when he doesn't deserve it.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Patrick is meant to be an adorkable ditz who acts as one of Spongebob's best friend. However, his Jerkass acts to SpongeBob and the other citizens, and his selfishness makes fans wonder why are they best friends, particularly in post-movie episodes and occasionally pre-movie. 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 is often berated, loathed, and disrespected by most of the characters in the series, but many fans sympathize with his misfortunes and appreciate his Deadpan Snarker moments.
    • 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.
  • Values Resonance: As very well put by this video, the moral of "Ripped Pants" rings very true in the era of meme culture of The New '10s. It teaches us that it is not a good idea to associate yourself with a single joke for the sake of attention, otherwise your "fame" will quickly fade.
  • Vindicated by History: Most fans have warmed up to Season 4 and 5 (though they're still generally seen as inferior to Season 1-3) with some going as far as to put Season 4 as part of the show's Golden Age. However, that's probably because Season 6-8 don't fare much better.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The episode "Mooncation" as animation on par with that of The Movie.
  • Wangst:
    • When Mr. Krabs is cheap, Pearl tends to whine about it.
    • SpongeBob whining about getting one noodle star taken away by Mrs. Puff...when he still has 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"
    • Mr. Krabs getting angry at Spongebob over losing two dollars to Bubble Bass in "Pickles."
    Mr. Krabs: That's two dollars comin' out of your paycheck.
  • 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 the show treats Suicide as Comedy.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?:
    • Squidward's nightmsre sequence "Squidward in Clarinet Land" is completely weird and disturbing.
    • 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, Tommy Karlsen (the same guy who played Ickis from "AAHH!! Real Monsters!" and Meowth in Pokémon), recognized for his typecasting with "psycho"/"unstable" characters, was for reasons unknown replaced by Trond Teigen (famous for his role as Aladdin, among other action roles). Teigen's attempts at imitating Karlsen's psychotic performance come across as forced and shoehorned into an already decaying series.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • Seasons 7 and 8 had more well-received episodes compared to Season 6... though that didn't exempt them from criticism.note  The first half of Season 9 continues this trend, with the majority of its episodes (aside from "Squid Baby", "Little Yellow Book", and "SpongeBob, You're Fired") getting positive reception.
    • As of 2014, Stephen Hillenburg has returned to the show, and his presence is definitely felt. Fan reception to the second movie was quite positive, and many of the problems from previous seasons are addressed in the latter half of Season 9: The characters generally act like their old selves, the Black Comedy has been greatly toned down, and the characters once again make goofy facial expressions, which had become less common in the later seasons.
  • 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.
    • Squidward comes across as this in the episodes which revolve around abusing him when he does absolutely nothing wrong. For example, "The Thing". In the episodes in which he gets abused but it's his own fault for being a Jerkass in some way, he can still come off as a Jerkass Woobie.
    • 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