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YMMV: SpongeBob SquarePants

  • 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 or does he have a legitimate crush on him?
      • Is SpongeBob naÔve in his torment to Squidward or is he pretending to be naÔve 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.
      • Does he have a crush on Squidward, or does he merely look up to him as a big brother figure?
    • 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.
    • 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 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?
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Mostly averted. In fact, 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.
  • 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 episode debuted episodes "Chum Bucket Supreme" and "Chum Caverns", where Plankton gets a lot of costumers and Mr. Krabs is not evil as he was in "Plankton's Regular". Although episodes end with Plankton losing and he lost because of his own mistakes (In "Chum Bucket Supreme" he called his customers fools) While Plankton still loses, the fact remains that he got a lot of customers in those episodes and that Krabs competed ethically against Plankton, not sabotaging his chance of success like in "Plankton's Regular".
    • And speaking of Spongebob being disgusted by Mr. Krabs' actions, in "Plankton's Regular" and "One Coarse Meal" Spongebob fully supported Mr. Krabs and was just as bad as him, but after that episode came episode "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, but Spongebob wrote and article about Mr. Krabs' torture and 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, and in "The Cent Of Money" he was absolutely furious at Mr. Krabs for exploiting Gary just to get money. "The Cent Of Money" is another possible Author's Saving Throw since Spongebob was extremely caring of Gary, while in "A Pal For Gary" he was a big jerk to him.
  • Awesome Moments: See this page for examples.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Badass Decay:
    • Plankton in the later seasons.
    • Sandy Cheeks. 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.
  • Base Breaker:
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The Davy Jones and Nosferatu cameos.
    • The old folk from a soda commercial gag. 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 entire 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.
  • 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."
  • Broken Base: Over whether post-movie episodes are even worth watching.
  • Canon Sue: Jim from the episode "The Original Fry Cook." He's extremely rich, everyone loves him (including Squidward), and he's better at being a fry cook than Spongebob (who, if one remembers, was so good that he almost became a god).
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Technically, Plankton and Karen could count as a canon example of this.
    • Mama Krabs and Plankton's giant robot.
    • Squidward and a Krabby Patty (Played for Laughs, of course).
    • 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.
    • Mr. Krabs and his money might count, when you think about it.
  • Creepy Awesome: Puffy Fluffy in "A Pal For Gary".
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • The newer episodes are either this or Dude, Not Funny!.
    • 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 Danza: In "Mermaid Man Begins", the real names of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are revealed to be Ernie and Tim. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are voiced by Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway, respectively.
  • 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 entire episode and Spongebob being an idiot for leaving his own diary unguarded.
  • Designated Hero: Spongebob, Patrick, and Mr. Krabs, Depending on the Writer.
  • Designated Monkey:
  • Designated Villain:
    • Squidward and Mrs. Puff, Depending on the Writer.
    • Spongebob himself in the episode Stuck in the Wringer
    • Plankton used to be an ordinary and fairly competent villain, but now that Mr. Krabs has been Flanderized into a Jerkass, one can't help but side with Plankton.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Plankton.
    • Squilliam Fancyson may count. He's an Ensemble Dark Horse despite having no redeeming qualities.
    • 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 tend to ignore this because he's funny.
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • The sheer amount of Kafka Komedy that poor Squidward, Gary, and Plankton suffers from.
    • In-universe examples: Squidward's mean-spirited April Fool's Day prank, and Squidward hurting Spongebob's feelings in the original Christmas special.
    • In the episode "A Pal for Gary", Spongebob's abuse towards Gary is Played for Laughs despite the fact that he saved Spongebob's life. Some fans have called it one of the worst episodes ever made because Spongebob's stupidity is taken up to ridiculous levels.
      • "Pet Sitter Pat" is just as bad, portraying Patrick's abuse of Gary as funny despite the fact that Gary is in obvious pain but special mention goes to when Patrick is about to dry Gary and says "Unfortunately, I couldn't get any salt" and the ending where everything magically goes back to normal and Patrick got off scot free.
    • "Summer Job" got a lot of hate for playing employee blackmail/abuse/harassment (pretty serious things in real life) for laughs.
    • "Plankton's Regular" also falls under this for some fans. It plays Krabs' greed up to sadistic levels because he (and Spongebob) is so greedy and selfish that he can't let Plankton have one single customer. Sure, it turns out in the end the customer never liked his food in the first place, but that only makes the episode worse.
    • Also, the suffering Mrs. Puff gets put through like losing her "puff" and getting injured, especially when it's Played for Laughs. Regarding that, Spongebob's joke of changing Mrs. Puff's name from "Puff" to "Pop" after learning she could never to "puff" again can rub the wrong way.
    • "Can't you see I'm trying to get run over?!". In fact just about everything about "One Coarse Meal" is completely unfunny for Krabs trying to torment Plankton to the point where he tries to kill himself and laughing about it. Even worse is that he gets no comeuppance for it.
    • Squidward's Driven to Suicide moments in the infamous "Are You Happy Now?" episode.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • 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???
    • DEAUUGH!
    • 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.
    • 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'?"
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Be careful about saying positive things about the flanderized characters.
    • Or certain post-movie episodes in general.
  • Fan Dumb: Oh dear Neptune, is there ever one for this show! There are so many on Fanfiction.net alone that people have even come up with the word "Spongetards" to describe them.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • As seen here.
    • As for individual characters, Patrick is the best example here.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • Everything about the Chum Bucket becomes disturbing when you realize chum is ground-up fish stuffs used to feed sharks!
    • If every variety of sea creature in Bikini Bottom is a sentient being, what is a Krabby Patty?
  • 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.
    • In "SpongeBob vs. The Big One", The Flying Dutchmen gets sent Davy Jones' Locker. It then shows him sitting in a locker full of Gym socks with the musician Davy Jones(Of Monkees fame) standing next to him, taunting him. Considering who Davy Jones is in both maritime mythology and Pirates of the Caribbean, the Visual Pun becomes much darker after Davy Jones' death in 2012.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • 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.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Season 2 is when people really started paying attention to the series.
    • Some people also think season 8 is an improvement over the previous ones in the Seasonal Rot.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • A meta example, but Spongebob crying in "Pizza Delivery" after getting yelled at by the mean customer may hit a nerve with viewers who have worked in customer service and dealt with similar customers. Situations like the one Spongebob dealt with are, sadly, very common in real life.
    • In "Back To The Past", which aired in 2010, Spongebob and Patrick land up in alternate universe, where Man Ray took over Bikini Bottom. They find out that Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are workers at Man Ray's version of the Krusty Krab. Then Spongebob and Patrick ask what happened to younger Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy (they had left the old, present ones with the younger ones back in time earlier). He tells them that they are the younger ones, and that the older ones died and were buried in the very restaurant. The tombstones for Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are then shown, prompting SpongeBob to say "I am so sorry for your loss of...yourself." Two years later on July 8th, 2012, voice actor for Mermaid Man, Ernest Borgnine passed away.
    • 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.
    • Try watching "Best Frenemies" or "Friend or Foe" after "One Coarse Meal".
    • 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.
  • He Really Can Act: This was basically 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 "Pizza Delivery" really pack an emotional punch.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Any time someone used "fish sticks" as an Unusual Euphemism.
    • In the movie, SpongeBob and Patrick stop a monster from eating them by hamboning.
    • C.H. Greenblatt was one of the writers of the show before leaving for Cartoon Network for his own show, eventually, he writes for a show with a fish-based premise.
    • In the episode where Spongebob and Squidward went to the future, Spongebob says that "everything is Chrome in the future". Google Chrome seems pretty popular nowadays.
    • In the Hall Monitor episode, Patrick described the Maniac as just standing around 'menacingly!! Compare this to a Humanoid Abomination known for being scary just for standing around.
    • In "Squidtastic Voyage", Patrick thinks that the entire world growing is more likely than the sub he and Spongebob are in shrinking. Well, in an episode of Phineas and Ferb, the Reset Button of Baljeet's watermelon (and Candace) being 50 feet tall is pressed via a gas that makes everything grow 50 times their normal size affecting the entire universe.
    • In "Hooky", SpongeBob panics over the thought of being sold in a gift shop. Guess what happened in The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie.
    • Remember the "Texas is Stupid" mocking to Sandy? Well there is now a show call Motorcity who has an idiotic character named Texas who is a Genius Ditz at best.
    • Dee Bradley Baker voices various fish characters and minor characters. His most famous role would later be a talking fish.
    • In "Sandy's Rocket", when SpongeBob tries to convince Sandy that there are aliens on the moon, his "evidence" of aliens' existence consists of cowlicks, ninety-nine cent stores, and Atlantis. Four seasons later, in "Atlantis SquarePantis", he and Sandy, and a few others, would later visit Atlantis, and the people there are an alien race that traveled to Earth to protect a bubble.
    • Doesn't SpongeBob's schedule in Party Pooper Pants sound like something Twilight would use?
  • Ho Yay: Take a look at this page.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The villain in the episode "Frankendoodle" is named Doodlebob, not Frankendoodle.
  • 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?
  • 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 "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 SeasonalRot episodes and pre-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, due to the fact that 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.
  • Jumping the Shark: Many fans believe that this happened after the movie.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Plankton has shades of this in earlier episodes, when his plans come pretty close to working. Brilliantly shown in F.U.N., when he manages to nearly fool, Mr. Krabs.
    Krabs: "Maybe the lad is right... Maybe Plankton has turned strait."
    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 Texas squirrel) is particularly popular with Texans and southerners.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Mr. Krabs is always a miserable cheapskate, but throughout the series he became much worse and has done many cruel actions. For Mr. Krabs these actions are the potential candidates for his Moral Event Horizon:
      • In "Jellyfish Hunter" he tricks SpongeBob into catching all of the Jellyfish in Jellyfish Fields for him in order to make Jelly Patties for the customers, and proceeded to extract their jelly from them in cruel, painful ways. It is considered to be one of his most monstrous acts he has ever done. Fortunately, he gets his comeuppance for this.
      • In "One Coarse Meal" 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 and unlike in "Jellyfish Hunter" he doesn't receive any comeuppance for this(Plankton did tie him upside down & force him to watch a mime preform in front of him, but it was only temporary). And all is this for fun. This is probably the most evil action done by Krabs.
      • In "Greasy Buffons" he (along with Plankton) intentionally began to feed his costumers pure grease, which lead his costumers to be poisoned, purely for profit. Throughout the episode Spongebob was having doubts about selling greasy food to customers, but it got personal for Spongebob when he saw that his best friend Patrick was poisoned too.
      • In "The Cent of Money" Krabs discovers that Gary has a "talent" for finding spare change, so he begins to take Gary around Bikini Bottom, stealing all the spare change he can find, continuously injuring Gary with the bombardment of magnetically attracted coins, all the while stealing from people and keeping Spongebob busy by doing work at the Krusty Krab.. Finally, when we saw how injured Gary had became, Krabs didn't care and said he looked fine and went to attract a wave of coins before Spongebob arrived. However, he receives his comeuppance for this.
    • 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, Patrick and Mr. Krabs 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.
    • Squidward really crossed it when he read Spongebob's work and personal diaries. It was so wrong, that everyone hated him for it. The worst part about it is that no amount of punishment will make him see the error of his ways.
  • 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!!!"
  • 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.
  • 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 literally shove the entire thing in his face. One of the most unpleasant people in the series, only one major appearance.
  • 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..."
  • 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.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: With a couple exceptions; see No Problem With Licensed Games above.
  • 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 how she pretty much 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.
  • The Scrappy: After undergoing massive Flanderization, some characters started to become actively hated by the fandom.
    • Mr. Krabs, in spades. Many fans just want to see him suffer a truly horrible fate, which he 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.
    • Pearl is incredibly annoying, loud... and generally disliked.
    • Patchy gets extra points for being a Scrappy since the early days.
    • Mrs. Puff to some, especially since "Demolition Doofus".
  • Seasonal Rot: Season five is the peak of the Dork Age, especially with the Three Shorts formula which didn't pan out and was gone by the next season. But a lot of fans thought it actually declined as early as it's 2005 revival (Season 4-onwards). For some fans, the show's seasonal rot began to kick in near the end of season 3.
  • 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.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped
    • "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.
  • So Okay, It's Average:
    • Season 7. Kind of averages out. Some episodes, like "Mystery With a Twist-ery" and "Spongebob's Last Stand" are the best received episodes since at least Season 4. Some episodes, such as "Greasy Buffoons", "One Coarse Meal", and "A Pal for Gary" are considered the worst episodes of the series, even worse than Season 5 or 6.
    • Season 1 (before Growing the Beard) due to a lot of Early-Installment Weirdness.
    • How many fans feel about Season 4. It's got a few good episodes but Seasonal Rot was obviously kicking 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 dialogue.
    • 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.
  • 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 have 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.
    • "Breath of Fresh Squidward" could have been about Spongebob receiving Laser-Guided Karma for his treatment of Squidward, instead it's eleven minutes of Moral Dissonance and massive hypocrisy on Spongebob's part.
    • "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 even when Sponge sees Squidward out of the disguise, he's not hurt by how much of an asshole Squid was to him earlier.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Parodied loads of times.
    "You must gain an appreciation of 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.
  • Uncanny Valley: Completely Handsome Squidward.
    • Moar Krabs.
    • "Who you callin' Pinhead?"
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • Spongebob is an unintentional stalker with No Sense of Personal Space- he's not a bad person, but he clearly does not understand boundaries, at all. It's mostly Played for Laughs, but people like this in Real Life typically undergo therapy to learn better people skills. Depending on who you are, Spongebob is just a child-like doofus, or a a borderline aspie.
    • Depending on who you are, the ending of "Fools in April" was either an utterly brilliant prank on Spongebob's part, or a gross manipulation of Squidward's emotions.
    • "Walking Small." Plankton tells Spongebob that "only aggressive people conquer the world" and spends the episode showing him how to be "assertive" (in reality, he's just teaching Spongebob how to be an asshole and giving the wrong message.) At the end of the episode, Spongebob sees the error of his ways... and becomes an even bigger doormat, transforming into a volleyball for a game even though every serve physically hurts him. The episode basically says that it's impossible to be assertive without being a jerk about it. Spongebob didn't even learn the right lesson until "Treats!" when Patrick, of all people, shows him how to put his foot down in a loving manner.
    • Pearl and her friends give the impression that all teenage girls are nothing more than whiny, boy-crazy, self-indulged brats who throw tantrums to get their way and use their age as an excuse for everything.
      • At least there was Mindy in the movie- King Neptune's teenaged daughter, sweet as sugar, a bit of a geek, and probably the most level-headed character in the film.
    • The episode "Squidville" is seen in a much different light when you realize that Tentacle Acres is basically a segregated community.
    • The episodes "Squirrel Jokes" and "Someone's in the Kitchen with Sandy" can get uncomfortable to watch when you realize that the citizens of Bikini Bottom show racist and, arguably, sexist behavior toward Sandy.
    • There was a very considerable backlash over the episode "Spongebob, You're Fired", because its plot seemed to suggest that people who are unemployed and/or on Food Stamps are lazy. The debate even made it onto the airwaves of Fox News, among others. It also received 5.2 million viewers on its first airing, the highest-rated episode in two years.
    • Ignoring that they were in Bikini Bottom the whole time, something that Spongebob and Patrick themselves were unaware of, Sandy's Rocket is basically about Spongebob and Patrick traveling to an alien environment and, for absolutely no reason, hunting down and kidnapping the native population.
    • A lesser example, but in "The Chaperone," Spongebob takes Pearl to her junior prom. Pearl is sixteen. Spongebob is in his late twenties.
    • Sandy is Texan and in "Kenny the Cat" she shows clear signs of racism towards Kenny, who is voiced by a black guy.
  • 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 Sponebob 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, Moral Event Horizon, but considering Patrick was the cause of everything bad that happened in that episode many people would rather side with Sponge.
    • "Nature Pants" and "Valentine's Day." Patrick goes on scary rampages in both episodes because he feels abandoned by Spongebob.
    • "I'm With Stupid."
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Squidward.
    • Plankton counts as well. He may be the most hated creature in Bikini Bottom, but many fans like him more than Krabs (especially if they've seen "Plankton's Regular" or "One Coarse Meal").
    • 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 his noodle star taken away...at least he still had the most stars out of his classmates.
    • SpongeBob whining about his broken spatula in "All That Glitters".
  • 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 married and raising a child in one episode! (It Makes Sense in Context)
    Non-Existent Spongebob: We don't even exist. We're just a clever visual metaphor used to personify the abstract concept of thought.
  • 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".
  • 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
    • Season seven. Not great like the pre-movie episodes, but a noticable increase in quality.
    • A lot of people seem to think Season 8 has really increased the quality. It has been one of the most well-received seasons in a while.
  • The Woobie:
    • SpongeBob had occasional traits of this, particularly in his season one era personality. Mrs. Puff as well.
    • Plankton devolves in to 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. However after Seasonal Rot, he becomes Unintentionally Unsympathetic due to being a massive jerk to Spongebob
    • Gary, due to being the only sane person in the show and being abused like hell in several episodes.
    • The guy who yelled "Everyone at the head enhancement clinic said nobody would notice!" and ran off crying after Spongebob destroyed his prosthetic head. This troper didn't understand the joke there until later, but the way he cries is still sad.

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