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aka: Sponge Bob Square Pants Patrick Star

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An original model sheet for the main characters. note 

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    Patrick Star 

Patrick Star

Voiced by: Bill Fagerbakke (English), Jack Gore (English, young, Sponge on the Run)additional VAs

Debut: "Help Wanted"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spongebob_patrick.jpg
"Well, maybe it is stupid. But it's also dumb!"

A dimwitted pink starfish who is SpongeBob's best friend for life. He is normally unemployed, but has held a variety of day jobs throughout the course of the series. Despite his goofy behavior, he can occasionally show hints of brilliance.


  • Abandoned Catchphrase: In the earlier seasons, he would occasionally exclaim "Good morning, Krusty Krew!" upon entering the Krusty Krab, though this hasn't been said by him since the pre-movie era.
  • Abusive Parents: Patrick mentions in the episode "Home Sweet Pineapple" that he was permanently kicked out of his parents' house at a young age. However, he reunites with his real parents at the end of "I'm with Stupid", implying that he has no hard feelings towards them despite what they did.
  • Accidental Truth: In the episode "Patrick-Man!", he starts attacking patrons at the Krusty Krab, believing that one of them is a supervillain in disguise. When Mr. Krabs is about to throw him out, it turns out that the Dirty Bubble was in fact there in disguise.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: All the freakin' time. He becomes one of these any time he gets a taste of power or some sort of reassurance of his "genius" abilities (the episode where he gets a boat, when he becomes king, the time when his parents come over, etc).
  • Acrofatic: He's pretty quick and nimble for a fat guy, though it depends on the writer. In one of his best moments, he was able to run faster than a train without brakes.
  • Adipose Rex: In "Rule of Dumb", he temporarily becomes a king.
  • All Take and No Give: As shown in "Yours, Mine and Mine", in Patrick's eyes, sharing amounts to SpongeBob paying for such things as food and toys and Patrick getting them all to himself.
  • Animals Hate Him: Not as much as Squidward, but there are some examples.
    • In "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve", Junior starts nibbling Patrick's head when he gets a closer look at him. Junior of course grows to love Patrick as his adoptive dad, but drops a coconut on his head before giving him a goodbye kiss.
    • In "Big Pink Loser", he gets stung by a swarm of jellyfish after telling them he won an award.
    • In "Whelk Attack", he enrages a ferocious whelk by Blowing a Raspberry at it.
    • In "Squidbird", he gets attacked by a flock of scallops for dressing up as Squidward (while training them to be friendlier around Squidward).
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Tends to get easily distracted. A great example being in 'Wet Painters", when he proposes replacing the dollar on Mr. Krabs' wall, only to end up spending his dollar on candy from a vending machine.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: When he's disguised as Patricia in "That's No Lady", every male in Bikini Bottom is attracted to him, especially Mr. Krabs and Squidward.
  • Authority in Name Only: In "Rule of Dumb", after SpongeBob tells him that as king, he can have anything he wants, Patrick starts taking things from people he walks up to on the streets, to the point where he's amassed a massive amount of tribute from his "subjects." When he orders Squidward's house to be demolished to make way for a Ferris wheel, Squidward manages to sway the rest of Bikini Bottom to realize that Patrick has no real power over them, and the construction crew, and people who were about to give Patrick more stuff, walk home and wonder why they gave him anything in the first place.
  • Ax-Crazy: He's prone to random fits of violence and insanity whenever something upsets him, and sometimes not even that's necessary.
    • In "Valentine's Day", he goes on a rampage at a Valentine's Day-themed carnival out of jealousy regarding all the gifts SpongeBob gave people when all he got was a handshake, and even threatens to kill SpongeBob when he still hasn't gotten his gift.
    • In "Nature Pants", he chases SpongeBob around Jellyfish Fields while attempting to catch him with a jellyfishing net.
    • He's perfectly willing to give Gary a "bath" with a flamethrower in "Pet Sitter Pat", among other forms of abuse he heaps upon the poor snail.
  • Babysitter from Hell: He plays this role to Gary in "Pet Sitter Pat" while looking after him by acting needlessly negligent and even physically abusive to him (bathing someone with a flamethrower is a new low even for someone like Patrick). More like "Pet Sitter from Hell", though.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Even if he wears a shirt for a special occasion, he usually never wears shoes. He does own a pair of shoes in "Your Shoe's Untied" but does not actually wear them in his feet and ends up wearing it on his hands.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: In "I'm With Stupid", he makes a plan with SpongeBob to have SpongeBob pretend to be stupid for Patrick's parents so Patrick would look smarter by comparison. Somewhere along the way, he begins to think that SpongeBob really is stupid and that he himself is a genius.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Patrick means well, but he can get riled up very easily if his dreams are stolen. He has gone Ax-Crazy over jealousy towards SpongeBob at least twice.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Seriously, he can go from being delightfully silly one moment to being an Ax-Crazy psycho the next. "Big Pink Loser" has him being funnily dumb with his failed attempts to do his job right at first, without being directly harmful... only to have him scrape a broomstick against the Krusty Krab floorboards and create a mad dust air, then copy SpongeBob to get an award.
  • Big Eater: Throughout the series, he is shown to have a big appetite. Exemplified quite well after SpongeBob smells his foul breath.
    SpongeBob: Barnacles, Patrick! What did you eat!?
    Patrick: Some roast beef, some chicken, a pizza...
    SpongeBob: No, I mean just this morning.
    Patrick: Some roast beef, some chicken, a pizza...
    • "Pressure" also epitomizes this, as he brags about sea creatures being able to eat a Deluxe Krabby Patty in one bite when Sandy and the others have a competition about whether land or sea creatures are better, then proceeding to eat the whole thing in one bite.
    • He's even eaten an entire table of food in "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" and an entire plate of Krabby Patties in "Pat No Pay".
  • Big Fun: Patrick is a funny, lovable fat guy whose ditzy moments serve as comic relief. Due to Flanderization and Took a Level in Jerkass, this was mostly prominent in the older seasons, but can still be played straight in the newer seasons every now and then.
  • The Big Guy: He's the most likely character to do the physical work required in solving a problem.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The fat Dumb Muscle big guy to SpongeBob's physically weak little guy.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The Big to Squidward's Thin and SpongeBob's Short.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: "You Don't Know Sponge" reveals that his favorite flavor of ice cream is "Dill Pickle Swirl" with extra mustard and bacon bits.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: Patrick frequently tries to incorporate logic into the almost-as-dumb-but-smarter SpongeBob.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to him every now and then, particularly in "Nature Pants" and "No Hat for Pat".
  • Bumbling Sidekick: And considering he's SpongeBob's sidekick, it's an accomplishment that he's the dumbest of the pair.
  • Butt-Monkey: He suffers a lot of Amusing Injuries, although not to the same level as Squidward or SpongeBob. A good example would be the episode "Suds", where he is treated to the disastrous "Starfish treatment" (although, he admittedly deserved it for impersonating a doctor), and "Neptune's Spatula", where he's zapped a number of times by King Neptune, and has his face placed on the back of his pants (he remains like that for the rest of the episode).
  • Captain Obvious: He sometimes states the obvious in things.
    SpongeBob: Do you think we should take the stuff off the wall?
    Patrick: No way! We're not getting paid to move stuff.
    SpongeBob: Patrick, we're not getting paid at all...
    Patrick: That's what I said; we're not getting paid and that's final.
  • Callousness Towards Emergency: In "Stuck in the Wringer", when SpongeBob's health is put at risk due to a wringer super-glued to his body, Patrick — despite his awareness — does nothing to help the situation and instead blames his friend for his current state.
  • Character Check: Some later episodes revert him back to a Kindhearted Simpleton, like "Mimic Madness" and "What's Eating Patrick?"
  • Characterization Marches On: In season 1, he wasn't portrayed with as much stupidity as he would be by the next season. In fact, he wasn't at all in The Pilot; he actually gave SpongeBob words of wisdom and encouraged him to get his job, which is a shocking contrast to the bumbling idiot he'd become later on in the series.
  • The Chew Toy: Mostly in the pre-movie episodes, he'll be subjected to played-for-laughs slapstick and comedic abuse.
  • Childhood Brain Damage: It is often suggested that Patrick's stupidity is the result of frequent head injuries. In "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost", Patrick mentions that he knows a lot about head injuries, then spaces out mid-sentence. In "Big Pink Loser", SpongeBob tries to discourage Patrick from mimicking him by hitting himself with a hammer, to which Patrick responds, "I've been doing this way before I started copying you."
  • Childhood Friend: He and SpongeBob have been best friends ever since they were babies, as a flashback in "The Secret Box" shows. This is retconned in Sponge on the Run and Kamp Koral, where they met when they were a little older.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Patrick always has a tendency to throw SpongeBob under the bus. You’d have to wonder why they’re still friends.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Patrick's a big goofball with an absurd way of thinking.
    Patrick: You've got it set to "M" for mini, when it should be set to "W" for "Wumbo".
  • Collector of the Strange: SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom shows he has a sock collection despite not wearing socks.
  • Comic Trio: The Fool to SpongeBob's The Leader and Squidward's Only Sane Man.
  • Connected All Along: "Rule of Dumb" reveals he and Gary are cousins.
  • Covert Pervert: If him, along with SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs, trying to steal panties from a woman's house in "Mid-Life Crustacean" is anything to go by, then he's more perverted than he seems. Tellingly, this scene led to "Mid-Life Crustacean" being banned in 2021.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite his fat body and moronic personality, Patrick is not only incredibly strong but is terrifying when he loses his temper, to the point where he can take on muscular thugs much larger than himself and even monsters on a few occasions. In addition, he's shown to have superpowers in several episodes, including telepathy.
  • The Cutie: He's nearly as carefree and enthusiastic as SpongeBob.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He sometimes makes cutting remarks in the earlier episodes, and occasionally the later ones, but not as frequently.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • His level of stupidity. At times, he's a Genius Ditz who does have some good ideas, on one occasion even beating out Sandy in coming up with a plan. At others, he's so stupid that he eats a chocolate bar and immediately forgets he did so, and can't even do such simple tasks as sweeping or opening a jar. He even lampshades this in one episode.
      Squidward: Patrick, just how dumb are you?
      Patrick: It varies.
    • Whether he actually has a nose or not. He's revealed to have a nose in "Wet Painters", "That's No Lady", and "The Battle for Bikini Bottom" note , but prior to getting plastic surgery in "No Nose Knows", he reveals that he doesn't have one.
    • How much of a jerk he can be. At times, he has a complete Lack of Empathy and blows off any pain and anguish his actions may cause, while in "Donut of Shame", he's driven to fearful remorse over stealing a donut from SpongeBob.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Patrick did not take kindly to receiving no gift in "Valentine's Day". It in fact became so serious to the point where he went on such a major Sanity Slippage and terrorized the boardwalk attendants in pursuit of an affectionate response. Luckily for him, Sandy arrives with his gift to prevent his chaos from reaching a peak.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: In "Rule of Dumb", when he becomes the king of Bikini Bottom, he turns into a ruthless despot who believes he has the right to take and do whatever he wants.
  • Destructive Savior: In the episode "Patrick-Man!", he tries to fight the Dirty Bubble, but in the process completely destroys the Krusty Krab and only defeats the Bubble through sheer dumb luck.
  • Deuteragonist:
    • As SpongeBob's best friend, Patrick frequently tags along on his adventures and gets many episodes dedicated to his antics or his friendship with SpongeBob. One of the show's character guides explicitly bills him as the second most important character after SpongeBob himself.
      The TV show features a colorful cast of 10 characters, headlined by SpongeBob and his best friend Patrick.
    • In the first movie, Patrick tags along with SpongeBob to retrieve King Neptune's crown and goes through many of the same struggles SpongeBob himself does, but primarily acts as comic relief while SpongeBob wants to become the Krusty Krab 2 manager.
    • In the third movie, Patrick once again tags along with SpongeBob to save Gary from King Poseidon and remains just as prominent as his yellow best friend.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Occasionally, starting in season 7, he'd appear to make everything go bad at the last minute.
  • Disguised in Drag: When he thought a salesman was threatening his life, he, with SpongeBob's help, disguised himself as a girl named Patricia. Cue every other male in Bikini Bottom (especially Squidward and Mr. Krabs) falling for him.
  • The Ditz: One of television's most famous examples. He's so dumb that he makes SpongeBob look intelligent.
  • Dumb and Drummer: Despite his lack of intelligence, he's really good at drumming, whether he's using actual drums ("Band Geeks") or his own belly ("Krabby Road").
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Occasionally makes an intelligent observation in spite of his idiocy.
    • One such instance has him beating out Sandy in coming up with a plan.
    • In earlier episodes, Patrick tends to be the one to suggest that Squidward doesn't like him and SpongeBob. SpongeBob naturally finds such a notion unthinkable.
    • Played with in "Wet Painters". After SpongeBob panics over getting paint on Mr. Krabs' first dollar (he was warned not to get paint on it), Patrick points out that Mr. Krabs' first dollar doesn't look any different from a normal dollar and could easily be replaced with any old dollar without Mr. Krabs knowing. The way this is played with is that Patrick immediately uses the dollar SpongeBob asked him to use on a vending machine instead of replacing the dollar that got covered in paint.
    • In "Porous Pockets", Patrick is unusually more calm and down-to-earth, as he notices SpongeBob throwing all his money away to the various moochers, and warns him not to do it.
  • Dumb Is Good: Patrick's asinine mindset is rooted in his good heart, and he's much nicer than the "normals" on the show.
  • Dumb Muscle: Patrick is shown to be incredibly strong on at least a few occasions. This is especially prominent in the video games.
  • Dumpster Dive: He likes to rummage through dumpsters and garbage cans and is even willing to eat food from them.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference:
    • In the first season and a few subsequent episodes, his eyebrows were thinner and resembled the letter 'M'. Shortly after, he gained thicker brows that now vaguely resembles the letter 'N'.
    • In the earlier seasons, he was generally drawn with a mouth full of teeth, but post-film, he's most often illustrated as having a single buck tooth on his upper jaw, to accentuate his childishness.
  • Easily Impressed: His standards are just as low as SpongeBob's.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: No form of life is safe around Patrick. Just ask Gary, whom Patrick mercilessly abused and mistreated in the episode "Pet Sitter Pat".
  • Evil Counterpart: To SpongeBob in "The Fry Cook Games", since Plankton has him represent the Chum Bucket in order to compete against SpongeBob participating in the games for the Krusty Krab.
  • Exposed Animal Bellybutton: He has a navel and provides the trope's page image.
  • Extreme Omnivore: He has shown himself willing to eat inedible sources, such as pet food, diapers, coffee mugs, etc.
  • Fan Disservice: As if it wasn't bad enough that his usual atire has him, an overweight starfish, walking around without any sort of shirt on, he will sometimes lose his shorts, leaving his butt to be visible for all the world to see. And in the first movie during the Goofy Goober Rock scene, he is shown in high-heeled boots and fishnets stockings. At first it doesn't look too bad because of the angle it's shown from, but then after the song is over, he's still wearing them, and it doesn't look nearly as decent as the first shot would make you believe, plus he has the same upper body regardless.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • His vanity. The smallest dose of success will immediately cause Patrick to develop Acquired Situational Narcissism and disregard the well-being of others, leading to major consequences.
    • His naïvety also veers into Too Dumb to Live and The Fool territory more often than not.
  • Fat and Skinny: The Fat to SpongeBob's and Squidward's Skinny.
  • Fat Bastard: He occasionally shows traits of being an obese jerk, especially in later episodes thanks to Flanderization. "Rule Of Dumb" is a very extreme example where he goes mad with royal power.
  • Fat Best Friend: He is SpongeBob's best friend and is overweight.
  • Fat Idiot: Chubby? Check. A complete moron? Check.
  • Fat Slob: If "The Battle of Bikini Bottom" is to be believed, he prefers being messy.
  • Flanderization:
    • Patrick started out quite dim, but he was actually fairly street smart. However, as the series progressed, Patrick became dumber and dumber until it became the vehicle for all his appearances.
    • He was also much nicer to SpongeBob as a friend if a bit lazy given his nature as a starfish. His laziness and vanity has become more important then his friendship with SpongeBob, to the point he'll sometimes be more of a hinderance to SpongeBob and do things even if it clearly harms his friend.
  • Foil: To SpongeBob. They're both ditzy Man Children who share such interests as jellyfishing and bubble blowing, but while SpongeBob is something of a Neat Freak, a Workaholic able to hold down a steady job and often proves to be The Ace at whatever he tries (except driving), Patrick is a Fat Slob, a Lazy Bum who never stays employed for long, and is shown to be so incompetent that he can't even sweep or open a jar without outside help, but can drive surprisingly well.
  • The Fool: Along with SpongeBob in later seasons, often playing blissfully ignorant winners against Squidward's frustrated loser image.
  • Forgetful Jones: Patrick's stupidity might have less to do with a genuine lack of intelligence on his part and more to do with him having the worst memory of any cartoon character ever drawn. Whether it's his best friend's name or how to eat, you name it, he'll forget it.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Phlegmatic. He's loyal to SpongeBob to a fault and can sometimes be modest and thoughtful.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Aside from SpongeBob, the other members of the group don't show the same level of respect for him. Sandy is somewhat accepting of him when he isn't being too dumb, Mr. Krabs usually views him as someone to hire for extra labour with little to no pay, and Squidward hates him almost as much as he hates SpongeBob.
  • Gasshole: He belches quite often.
  • Genius Ditz: Patrick is an idiot most of the time, though he can be shockingly smart when he wants to be. In "Boating School", he was shown to be perfectly accurate behind the wheel, as he could give perfect instructions to SpongeBob simply via a large telescope, sometimes while barely paying attention, and in another episode, he even GOT a boating license despite not knowing everything there is to know about boats. Not to mention his performance on NFL commentary for a CBS-produced Nickelodeon simulcast of the Denver Broncos–Los Angeles Rams game on Christmas Day 2022. After Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, who had severely regressed in 2022 from his previous elite-level performances with the Seattle Seahawks, threw an interception, Patrick remarked "That's not what he wanted to cook!", both referencing the "Let Russ Cook" meme and skewering Wilson's regression.
  • Gentle Giant: Patrick is rather big and strong, but he's harmless and really friendly for the most part.
  • Goofy Buckteeth: Patrick is sometimes drawn with a single bucktooth, which is noticeable when he's about to do something stupid.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: The first movie has him wear his trademark pair of Goofy Goober undergarments.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: A sea star who only wears a pair of shorts.
  • Has a Type: The first movie, the episode "Welcome to the Bikini Bottom Triangle" and the Cosmic Shake game imply that Patrick has a thing for mermaids.
  • Healing Factor: He can regenerate his arms in the unlikely case that they get severed. However, detached limbs grow a new body, which is quite accurate for his species.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and SpongeBob are best friends.
  • Hidden Depths: He's a very good driver, as opposed to SpongeBob, and even got his driver's license before him, as shown in "Driven to Tears". It was even hinted at in "Boating School", where Patrick was helping SpongeBob in his test and nearly succeeded had the latter not admit to cheating.
  • Hypocrite: He never follows any of the "advice" he teaches SpongeBob.
    • In "Grandma's Kisses", he tells SpongeBob to act like a grown-up but later acts like a baby himself. When SpongeBob points out his hypocrisy, he says that being a "grown-up" is boring and that he likes being a baby.
    • In "Something Smells", when SpongeBob believes that he is shunned by everyone in town because they think he is ugly, Patrick tells him that he should accept his ugliness. Later, Patrick thinks he caught SpongeBob's ugliness and refuses to accept it, declaring that he was once one of the "beautiful people" (in reality, it was their bad breath that caused the townsfolk to ignore them).
    • In "Little Yellow Book", he's among the many people who laugh at SpongeBob's secrets and joins in on lambasting Squidward for doing so when SpongeBob runs away crying, throwing fruit at Squidward and calling him a "diary reader".When Squidward points out that Patrick also read the diary, Patrick blows him off and accuses him of "blaming everyone else."
  • Iconic Outfit: His green shorts with purple flowers.
  • Idiot Houdini: Combined with his friend SpongeBob's near-equal Idiot Houdini tendencies, he often gets away with his actions simply because he's a nitwit.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: In "I'm With Stupid", he manages to embody this trope while simultaneously applying it to someone else. He asked SpongeBob to pretend to be dumber than him so that Patrick's parents, who were coming for a visit, wouldn't be ashamed of him; not only does Patrick end up believing that SpongeBob really is stupid and that he himself is a genius, but it turns out that he's so dumb that he mistook his parents for random starfishes who are just as stupid as he is.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Patrick's jealousy is a recurring theme in the series. "Valentine's Day", "Big Pink Loser", "No Nose Knows", and "Yours, Mine and Mine" show that he'll break down crying and lose self-esteem when witnessing others' success, often to a fatal fault.
  • I Just Want to Be You: In "Big Pink Loser", his determination to win an award and accomplish something for once in his life drives him to copy SpongeBob's life, wearing SpongeBob's clothes, copying all of his actions, and even painting his rock to resemble the latter's pineapple house.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: He does not take kindly when his ignorance bubble is burst, and the smallest amount of power will immediately go to his head.
  • Informed Attractiveness: When Patrick crossdresses in "That's No Lady" as a means to hide his identity, he's considered a true feminine beauty by all males in Bikini Bottom (oblivious that he's Patrick). The thing is, he really doesn't look that different from his usual self; only adding pigtails, lipstick and a dress.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Like SpongeBob, he can often be simply oblivious to and ignorant of how his behavior affects others. At times, the "innocent" part gets a little dubious. In "Driven to Tears", after SpongeBob fails his driver's test, yet again, Patrick takes it himself, and passes it with a perfect score on his first try with little effort. He wins a boat-mobile for being the one-millionth person to get a license, and immediately starts being incredibly condescending towards the fact that SpongeBob still hasn't gotten his license, and wonders why SpongeBob is so upset.
  • Insane Troll Logic: He's the one who came up with changing SpongeBob's belt to "Wumbo" after all.
  • Insufferable Genius: He becomes one following a head-on collision with a brain coral in "Patrick SmartPants", causing him to smugly look down upon others with his newfound intellect, which not only leads to isolation from SpongeBob, but even Squidward and Sandy agreeing he was better as a moron.
  • Insufferable Imbecile: He ventures into this trope in later seasons thanks to Flanderization. The most infamous example comes from The Splinter when Patrick makes SpongeBob's splinter worse and when SpongeBob rightfully complains to Patrick about it, he thinks that SpongeBob doesn't want his help despite the fact that he was worsening the problem.
  • It's All About Me: He can act selfish on occasion, such as taking advantage of SpongeBob's friendship and his generosity for his benefit, and joining in with him in forcing Squidward into their activities when he wants no part of it.
  • Jerkass Ball: He can be very mean and self-centered on occasion, though as usual, this was emphasized more due to Flanderization in later episodes.
  • Jerkass Realization: After refusing to help SpongeBob with Junior in "Rock-A-Bye Bivalve", SpongeBob shows him all the diapers he had to change (even most of them are loaded from a garbage truck) and Patrick actually feels horrible for all of this and promises to help SpongeBob with Junior.
    Patrick: I had no idea! What kind of a father am I?! Oh! I'll make it up to you, buddy. I promise!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He starts out as a Nice Guy in the pre-movie episodes, but eventually evolves into this. He's prone to Took a Level in Jerkass much more often than SpongeBob himself, who was also flanderized. That said, when he's not being a jerk, he still can be a well-meaning idiot and a good friend to SpongeBob. For instance, he gets angry when Squidward and Plankton suggest killing SpongeBob in "Mimic Madness", he indignantly tells the Flying Dutchman that he can't talk about SpongeBob that way when the ghost pirate makes a remark about SpongeBob being a lousy friend in "The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom", and he gets furious at Bubble Bass for not giving SpongeBob his free lunch as promised in "Moving Bubble Bass".
  • Karma Houdini: Often gets away with the things he screws up. The most notable moment is in "I'm With Stupid", when he lets SpongeBob pretend he was stupid to impress his parents, but then he went too far and actually believed SpongeBob really WAS stupid. This causes the sponge to run off in a rage... and Patrick gets away with it.
  • Keeping the Handicap: In one episode, he becomes an Insufferable Genius after his head is accidentally replaced with brain coral. Due to his new intelligence alienating his friends, he decides to replace his head back to his normal oafish self.
  • Keet: Not to the extent of SpongeBob, but he can still be pretty hyperactive.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Mostly in the pre-movie seasons, he is an idiot with honest intentions.
  • The Klutz: In addition to his dimwitted nature, Patrick has a rather weak balance and can be quite clumsy. This was an exploit for an entertainment act held at the Krusty Krab in "No Hat Pat", in which customers had to pay to see him falling down in numerous varieties.
  • Lack of Empathy: At his worst (at his best, he's just too dumb to know any better). It's another case of Depending on the Writer, as in some cases, he just blows off any pain or anguish he causes, while in others, he can be brought to tearful remorse for stealing a donut that is actually his gift.
  • The Lancer: He usually serves as SpongeBob's partner during their adventures, as well as his right-hand man if they happen to be in positions of authority.
  • Large Ham: Moreso in earlier episodes, but still somewhat prone to being loud and dramatic in later ones.
  • Lazy Bum: In contrast to the hard-working SpongeBob, he tends to be unwilling and uninterested in doing any physical labor.
  • Lethally Stupid: Whenever he shows up in newer episodes, it's almost guaranteed everything will go horribly wrong because of his idiocy.
  • Likes Older Women: Played for Laughs in the episode "Chocolate With Nuts." After SpongeBob and Patrick get enough money to go to a fancy dinner with dates, their dates are revealed to be… the elderly women from earlier in the episode.
    SpongeBob: So… how long have you two ladies known each other?
    [Beat]
    Chocolate Lady: What? What did he say?
  • Literal-Minded: He interprets metaphors literally as often as SpongeBob.
  • Love Hungry: See Ax-Crazy above; he has a tendency to react badly when under the impression that his friendship with SpongeBob is in jeopardy.
  • Made of Iron: Just like SpongeBob, there isn't a lot of things in the series that can put him in the hospital.
  • Manchild: Patrick is an adult and he's almost as childish as SpongeBob, if not more.
  • Manipulative Bastard: This is often how SpongeBob goes along in one of his schemes. An example would be "Squidtastic Voyage". SpongeBob was told to watch the submarine, and Patrick asked him if he looked after it from the inside as well.
  • The McCoy: With Squidward as The Spock and SpongeBob as The Kirk. Patrick is incredibly stupid, and he will always resort to Insane Troll Logic in pursuit of his ideals.
  • The Millstone: Particuarly starting with Season 4. Whenever SpongeBob or anyone has a plan, Patrick is sure to screw it up, or do something stupid to make it worse.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The series has several jokes involving him being nude, such as his inflatable pants exploding in "Patty Hype", him and SpongeBob pranking Bikini Bottom by pretending to be ghosts after stripping naked and using invisible spray on themselves in "Pranks a Lot" and hang-gliding in his birthday suit in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
  • Neet: Does not have a job. He does work at the Krusty Krab in a few episodes, though these instances shortly result in him being fired.
  • Never My Fault: Especially in the post-movie seasons, he's prone to moments of blame-shifting. The worst offenders are in "Stuck in the Wringer" and "Big Sister Sam".
  • Nice Guy: During the first three seasons, and in the first movie. While not without his flaws, he's a good-hearted guy most of the time and a true friend to SpongeBob. He unfortunately morphs into a remorselessly destructive moron around Season 4, though he still shows shades of his earlier characterization from time to time.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The in-between, at least in earlier seasons; he was a Nice Guy overall, though he wasn't as overly affectionate as SpongeBob, nor was he as snide as Squidward. Later seasons, however, and even some earlier episodes, show that Patrick can be plenty mean in his own right.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: In "Frankendoodle", Patrick suffers a few head injuries from DoodleBob's antics. When he gets a wrench dropped on his head that falls into his hands, he asks SpongeBob, "Where's the leak, ma'am?" When he gets knocked silly by a bowling ball, SpongeBob asks if he's okay, only to have Patrick shout back "FINLAND!"
  • The Noseless: He doesn't have a visible nose, though he's been portrayed as having nostrils on occasion. Lampshaded in "No Nose Knows" when he's jealous of all his peers having noses and undergoes plastic surgery in order to get one.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Possibly. Some fans suspect that Patrick is not really stupid, but a sociopath who does stupid and often assholish things on purpose just because he knows his low intelligence (or façade of it) will keep him from punishment. Throwaway comments in some episodes support this view, such as "Home Sweet Pineapple"note , "I Had an Accident"note , and "The Card"note .
  • The Obi-Wannabe: He's essentially SpongeBob's main source of "wisdom", which goes about as well as you'd expect seeing as he's The Ditz and all.
  • Parental Neglect: In "Rock a Bye Bivalve", he repeatedly refuses to help the baby scallop. Though that in his eyes seems to be a traditional father figure.
    • "Ghoul Fools" showed that Patrick was willing to sacrifice SpongeBob because he "lived a full life." This was actually lampshaded by Lord Poltergeist, who sarcastically says, "Great friend you got there."
  • Predator-Prey Friendship: In real life, sea stars are predators that hunt and eat coral, sea sponges, clams, oysters, sand dollars, and mussels. Considering that he remains best friends with SpongeBob despite the fact his kind is often seen as food by real-life sea stars and with the occasional predator and prey-esque rivalry of each other's species bubbling to the surface (at one point even resulting in them succumbing to their animal instincts and trying to eat each other after being trapped in a cave with no food) proves this to be the case with his friendship with SpongeBob.
  • Prone to Tears: Not to the extent of SpongeBob, but he does tend to break down crying quite easily.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: During his more villainous moments, he can be as dangerous and deranged as he is childish. For example, in "Valentine's Day", he threw a destructive temper tantrum when he believed that SpongeBob hadn't given him an actual Valentine's Day gift.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Less so than SpongeBob, but he's still chubby, pink, and cute-looking. He also has purple eyelids and flowered swimming trunks.
  • Rubber Man: As the Elastic Waistband in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V", he has stretching abilities.
  • Running Gag: In the first season, he has a tendency to fall off his rock every time he opens it.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Embodies sloth. Patrick spends his entire life doing as little as possible, mostly eating or doing recreational activities, and is an incredibly Heavy Sleeper.
  • Simpleton Voice: Even his voice sounds stupid.
  • Sixth Ranger: Whenever the Krusty Krew (consisting of SpongeBob, Squidward and Mr. Krabs) needs a fourth member, Patrick's usually the guy to fill the gap.
  • Snark Ball: He's sometimes made witty remarks in spite of his idiocy.
  • Species Surname: Patrick Star is a starfish.
  • Spoiled Brat: When Patrick's Manchild traits and selfish tendencies are at their worst, to the point where he is a whiny baby who complains when he doesn't get his way, like in "Yours, Mine, and Mine". At the beginning of that episode, Patrick wants SpongeBob to buy a Krabby Kiddie Meal for them to share, only for Patrick to eat it all for himself. Later, when Mr. Krabs manufactures a Patty Pal toy for the two to share, Patrick goes out of his way to selfishly keep the toy. He even goes so far as to eat the toy, screaming that if he can't have it, no one can.
  • Stock Sound Effects: His Big Eater moments are often punctuated by the sound of a Hoover vacuum cleaner.
  • Stout Strength: He's overweight, but still quite strong.
  • Straw Loser: SpongeBob is often a brainless irritance to others, but when paired alongside the even dumber Patrick, he can often come off as vaguely competent and levelheaded.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Typically, he's strong enough to lift and throw things as heavy as a dumpster with ease, but in "Krusty Krushers", he couldn't even tear a piece of paper in half and got a paper cut trying to do so.
  • Strong, but Unskilled: He's deemed incapable of learning formal karate training aside from a basic chop, but his monstrous strength allows him to perform a perfect slice on even the hardest of substances. Unfortunately, he also lacks the discipline to use his skills responsibly and ends up terrorizing the town by going on an uncontrollable karate-chopping rampage.
  • Super-Strength: At times, he is able to throw boulders as if they were pebbles and break through steel walls. On at least one occasion, he actually managed to overpower Sandy.
  • Sweet Tooth: He loves to eat ice cream and many other desserts.
  • Temporarily a Villain: At his worst, he has his moments of being antagonistic in some episodes such as "Pet Sitter Pat".
  • Third-Person Person: He occasionally speaks in the third person in the pre-movie seasons, but has stopped doing so in the post-movie ones.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: In "Rule of Dumb", Squidward, whose house was torn down to make room for a Ferris Wheel, makes everyone in Bikini Bottom realize that "king" Patrick has no legal right to demand tribute from them, which causes the construction crew, as well as the people who were going to give Patrick more of their stuff, to leave immediately. Right after, Patrick goes on an angry tirade and shouts at SpongeBob, insisting that he is not a corrupt ruler. When Patrick orders SpongeBob to get him a drink, he surmises that SpongeBob snuck away during the tirade, and gets the drink himself, which is when he sees his monstrous reflection in the mirror, and realizes what the crown and title has turned him into.
  • Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: In "Big Pink Loser", he's shown needing to actually be talked through the simplest tasks, such as sweeping floors or opening jars.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: He becomes much dumber in later seasons. Whenever SpongeBob is subject to a decrease in intelligence, Patrick is made dumber to always ensure SpongeBob looks like a genius by comparison regardless.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Even more so than SpongeBob, the later seasons had him more prone to jerkish moments. The prime example? The episode "Rule Of Dumb", where he lets his role as king go to his head and becomes a selfish grouch who frightens SpongeBob.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: By Season 9B, his Jerkass Ball moments have been notably leveled off on.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He's been shown multiple times to love ice cream.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: If the writers decide to hand him the Jerkass Ball for the episode, he's not very likable.
  • Vague Age: He's apparently old enough to live on his own and have a job, but is childish to the point where everyone, including himself, refers to him as a kid. And unlike SpongeBob, his driver's license never revealed his date of birth, though it's assumed that he's around his 30's like SpongeBob is.
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • His voice has gotten quite a lot deeper and more simple sounding in later episodes. Almost to a creepy extent, as he used to sound like a goofball, but now sounds a tad thuggish.
    • Following the second movie, Patrick's voice has become slightly higher, akin to how he sounded in seasons 2 and 3.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Never shown with a shirt on.
  • We Want Our Idiot Back!: In "Patrick Smartpants", Patrick becomes a super genius after accidentally attaching brain coral to his head. The smarter characters like Sandy and Squidward initially enjoy this, but even they get annoyed at Patrick over time when he calls them dumb and talentless respectively. Even Patrick himself gets sick of his intellect and seeks to find a way to get rid of it, as he realizes that he's alienated everyone, including SpongeBob.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In "Home Sweet Pineapple", he starts smashing SpongeBob with his house in his sleep, screaming "SPIDERRRS!"
  • With Friends Like These...:
    • Though Patrick is SpongeBob's best friend, he often takes advantage of SpongeBob and turns on him at a moment's notice, such as making him out to be an idiot to his parents in "I'm with Stupid" and trying to sacrifice SpongeBob to Lord Poltergeist to save his own hide in "Ghoul Fools".
    • In "Something Smells", SpongeBob, oblivious to the fact that people are avoiding him for his bad breath, is told by Patrick people run away from him because he's ugly. When SpongeBob finally comes to terms with his "ugliness", Patrick eats the stuff that gave SpongeBob bad breath, and people start avoiding him. When SpongeBob tries to help him come to terms with being ugly, Patrick berates him for making him ugly.
      SpongeBob: Just remember what we talked about. There's power in pride.
      Patrick: That may be fine for you, but I was one of the beautiful people. Now look at me! I'm almost as ugly as you!
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: If episodes like "Big Pink Loser" and "Valentine's Day" are anything to go by, Patrick's odd mean streak is exhibited out of his lack of talent and luck in contrast to others.
  • Would Hit a Girl: In "Band Geeks", when Squidward suggests that his band does some kicking, Patrick takes this literally and gets into a fight with Sandy as a result.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When SpongeBob teaches him karate in "Karate Star", he uses it to go around town destroying property, and attempts to chop a baby until SpongeBob stops him at one point.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In "Stuck in the Wringer", after he stupidly glues SpongeBob into his wringer. SpongeBob feels he'll never be able to do anything now, but Patrick gives him a Rousing Speech that he can go on and persevere despite the adversity. As the episode goes on, it turns out Patrick was wrong: SpongeBob really can't do anything while stuck in the wringer.
  • Yandere: He acts like this towards SpongeBob in "Nature Pants" when the latter refuses to leave the Jellyfish Fields after abandoning his life to go live with the jellyfish.

    Sandy Cheeks 

Sandra Jennifer Cheeks

Voiced by: Carolyn Lawrence (English), Presley Williams (English, young, Sponge on the Run)additional VAs

Debut: "Tea at the Treedome"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spongebob_sandy.jpg
"Don't you dare take the name of Texas in vain!"

"SpongeBob, I'm from Texas. What you think is big and what I think is big are two totally different bigs."

An athletic, thrill-seeking squirrel from Texas who loves her home state. She works as a scientist and lives in an underwater dome full of air. She usually wears a bubble-helmet diving suit when she is outside of her home.


  • Academic Athlete: She qualifies even if the show is not set in a school. She's probably the most academically inclined character with a vast knowledge of science, and also a Passionate Sports Girl who excels at karate.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie puts her in the main protagonist role after a long time being Demoted to Extra.
  • Action Girl: Much more so in earlier episodes, though it still shows through every now and then. It's often shown that she's very strong, occasionally so much that she easily defeats SpongeBob, as tough as he is to damage, in Kung-Fu battles.
  • Americans Are Cowboys: The only character explicitly stated to come from the United States, and she's a Texas cowpoke through and through.
  • Animals Not to Scale: She's rather small for a squirrel. In Sponge Out of Water, she's smaller than a human's foot.
  • Ascended Extra: In Stephen Hillenburg's first pitch bible from 1996, Sandy was at the very end of the character list, and Pearl was the lead female character. In the show proper, Sandy has a more prominent role and tends to have more screen time than Pearl, though both of them are still part of the main cast.
  • Ax-Crazy: If her hibernation is interrupted, she turns into a rabid, feral beast.
  • Badass Adorable: An extraordinarily strong and intelligent female squirrel who manages to live underwater. Does more need to be said?
  • Badass Bookworm: She is extremely intelligent and often shown to be extraordinarily strong. Also likes life-threatening stunts.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: She's a master of Karate, and it's part of how she and SpongeBob initially bonded.
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: She's one of the main female characters, and when she's not wearing her suit filled with oxygen, she wears a purple bikini top and green panties with a purple skirt, leaving her midsection exposed.
  • Berserk Button: Never ever insult anything/anyone from Texas, or even the state itself. You will regret it, as SpongeBob and Patrick faced the serious consequences.
    "Don't you dare take the name of Texas in vain!"
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sandy most of the time is pretty friendly, but she can become pretty vicious at times, such as when her Berserk Button is pressed.
  • Big Sister Instinct: She's frequently portrayed as immediately defending SpongeBob from terror.
  • Brainy Brunette: Has brown fur and is often depicted as extremely intelligent, especially in episodes relating to her inventions. Next to Karen and occasionally Plankton, she is one of the smartest members of the main cast.
  • Break the Haughty: Suffers it in "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm". She goes to take out the Alaskan Bullworm for the sake of the town, and adamantly refuses to listen to SpongeBob's warnings about how big and monstrous the thing is, convinced she's "too Texas-tough" and can easily handle the worm. In the end, she comes across the worm in a cave and apparently beats it... only to discover that what she fought was actually the worm's tongue, and the Bikini Bottomites were not exaggerating over how big and monstrous it is; all of her bravado fades in an instant.
  • Broken Ace: She tends to be competent and highly skilled at everything she does. However, she suffers a light case of this in some episodes, due to her very competitive attitude. She takes the idea of not being the best at something rather badly.
  • Bully Hunter: Though she may sometimes get exasperated by them, she'll always stand up for SpongeBob and Patrick.
    • In "Hot Crossed Nuts", Mr Krabs adds her barbeque nuts to the menu, and coldly dismisses SpongeBob and the Krabby Patties. Upon seeing SpongeBob's heartbroken reaction, and Mr Krabs' callous indifference, she retaliates by resigning and taking her recipe off the menu at the worst possible time.
    • In "Patrick! The Game", Squidward has been mocking Patrick's attempts at making his own game. When he tries to do so at the Game Night, Sandy shuts him up and coerces him into joining in whenever he doesn’t make an effort.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Combined with Break the Haughty. Despite the Bikini Bottomites and SpongeBob's constant warnings about how big and monstrous the Alaskan Bull Worm was, Sandy refuses to take them seriously. This bites her in the butt when she finds out that the "worm" she was fighting was actually its tongue. Sandy then realized that she was seriously outclassed and runs for her life.
  • Characterization Marches On: Her scientific nature wasn't shown as much in the pre-movie era. It wasn't until Season 4 that her inventor personality was established.
  • Chaste Toons: "Sandy's Nutty Nieces" reveals she has three nieces.
  • Competition Freak: Sandy is used to being the best at multiple talents and sports, so gets rather aggressive with when challenged.
  • Cool Big Sis: Her relationship with SpongeBob can be rather brother-sisterly in that the former looks up to her and they get into conflicts often but always come out clean.
  • Cute Bruiser: She is clearly one of Bikini Bottom's strongest residents, if not the strongest. She occasionally challenges massive, heavily muscled beachgoers to weightlifting challenges, and is one of the few characters who can rival Larry in raw power.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has become quite a bit of one in the later episodes, particularly in "Planet of the Jellyfish" and "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!"
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Sandy appeared significantly less from Season 3 onwards, being more of a recurring supporting character than the main character she was originally billed as. She gets hit especially hard by this in the first movie. If you watched it without having seen the show prior, you’d never be able to guess that Sandy is a major character, since her role in the former is to be a background extra. Later seasons have attempted to avert this by giving her plenty of focus episodes.
    • Due to being main characters on the show, Sandy, Mrs. Puff, and Squidward are all billed under "Main Cast" in the first movie's credits — despite them having such little screen time.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: In the first season, her tail wasn't outside her suit, and the patch on her suit was three black dots instead of her signature acorn.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: Not to the extent of Squidward, but she quite expresses her annoyance towards people's stupidity, particularly when it regards Patrick on occasions like in "I Had An Accident" for instance.
    Sandy: [to Patrick] Don't you have to go be stupid somewhere else?
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time Sandy is seen on-screen, she's shown fighting a giant clam, ultimately cementing her strength and masculinity.
  • Everything is Big in Texas: Even though she's the size of a flea compared to the Texas landscape, her personality more than matches the size of her home state.
  • Fish out of Water: Played straight, though she's actually a squirrel IN water. Her troubles fitting in with an underwater society aren't as apparent in the later episodes, though.
  • Flanderization: Originally portrayed as The Ace in various activities, post-movie episodes have increasingly focused on her being a scientist, pretty much shunning anything else she was passionate about.
  • Foil: She serves as this to two main characters:
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Choleric (shares this with Mr. Krabs). She's task-oriented and likes a challenge.
  • Forgot Flanders Could Do That: Any time the writers remember her Texan background or her other talents besides science.
  • The Friendly Texan: A proud Texan and one of the nicest characters in the series. However, she can get pretty scary when she's angry, and disrespecting her home state is a surefire way to set her off (again, proud Texan).
  • Gadgeteer Genius: She built tons of nifty gadgets.
  • Genius Bruiser: She's athletic, tough, and loves karate, while also being an extremely smart scientist.
  • Genki Girl: She can be excitable and cheerful when she wants to have a good time.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Usually level-headed, but being a Hot-Blooded Texan, she's rarely subtle when her temper flares.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Holds this in "Prehibernation Week", where she takes SpongeBob along with her to perform extreme stunts with little regard to his deteriorating health. This doubles as Jerkass Ball.
    • She invokes this on herself in "Squirrel Jokes" in retaliation against SpongeBob's bigoted humor about her species, showing him how toxic it would be to have a friend who's Too Dumb to Live.
  • Implied Love Interest: Her close friendship with SpongeBob, as well as several Ship Tease between the two of them can make her this, which is more prevalent in Season 1, though some subtle hints can be shown in later seasons as well.
  • Insufferable Genius: Sometimes can be insufferably boastful about her intellect, especially in later seasons.
  • Invisibility: She can turn invisible as Miss Appear in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V".
  • Inexplicably Tailless: She did not have a tail in season 1 while wearing her suit, but nowadays, she has a tail.
  • Jerkass Ball: In spite of her overall kindness, she can be quite an Insufferable Genius and egotistical jerk at times, and occasionally forces the others to do excruciating activities with her when it dangerously affects their health.
    • In "Prehibernation Week", she forces SpongeBob along with her in her extreme sports activities, which clearly have an adverse affect on his health, not that Sandy seems to notice or care.
    • In "SpongeBob, You're Fired", she feeds various freeloaders (including Patrick) toxic waste for no reason beyond curiosity.
    • In "Kenny the Cat", she exposes the eponymous character as a fraud in front of his fans and forcefully kicks him to the top of the ocean's surface despite him having done nothing to provoke her.
  • Just Friends: In spite of the Ship Tease, her relationship with SpongeBob seems to be platonic.
  • Lack of Empathy: "Prehibernation Week" stands out for having this. She and SpongeBob partake on a series of extreme sports, but she genuinely thinks SpongeBob is having as much fun as she is. But when he bails and she thinks he’s gone missing, she forces the whole town to help her look for him. The citizens get their faces burned off, attacked by poison sea urchins and leeches. Sandy’s response to these misfortunes? The townsfolk aren’t trying and need to triple their efforts.
  • Lady And A Scholar: She is one of the friendliest characters on the show and also a genius. It helps that she's one of the few characters on the show that didn't Take a Level in Dumbass or Jerkass.
  • Lethally Stupid: In "Prehibernation Week", and only that episode. She forces SpongeBob to take part in a series of life-threatening sports and seems oblivious to his despair even as he screams and cries. After SpongeBob decides to hide from her, she rallies the entire city to search for him, ordering them to repeatedly venture into dangerous places and refusing to let any of them sleep.
  • Lightning Bruiser: She's very strong (as mentioned above in Cute Bruiser), tough (goes through very hard physical training, such as looking for a SINGLE STRAND OF HAY in a HUGE PILE OF METAL NEEDLES without getting hurt or tiring out) and is also very agile (especially considering she is wearing a heavy suit and is reasonably fast even while under water pressure).
  • Like Brother and Sister: While there has been some romantic connotations in their friendship, she and SpongeBob have a brother-sister relationship, enjoying each other's company and performing karate together, albeit not without having their squabbles.
  • Made of Iron: Thanks to Super-Strength, Sandy has survived many fatal accidents and near-death experiences that SpongeBob wouldn't.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy:
    • Masculine Girl to SpongeBob's Feminine Boy. Sandy is characteristically tough in that she has survived the most fatal obstacles, practices extreme sports, fought a giant clam by which she was nearly eaten, and is proficient in hardware; SpongeBob is a wimpy coward who's In Touch with His Feminine Side, unable to stand up for himself, sports a very girly appearance, and has cross-dressed on a few occasions.
    • She is also the Masculine Girl to Squidward's Feminine Boy, as he prefers playing musical instruments, making arts such as paintings and participates in interpretive dancing.
  • Miles Gloriosus: In the comic story "Scaredy Snail", she and SpongeBob hear strange roaring noises coming from a trench. She immediately wants to investigate, mocking SpongeBob for being afraid. It turns out that she was scared out of her wits the whole time, banking on SpongeBob to get cold feet so she wouldn’t have to go into the trench. After this tearful confession, it seems there was no monster after all: it was just Patrick's echoing belches. But then an actual monster appears right behind him. Sandy, who came across as wanting to see such a creature, runs for her life.
  • "Miss X" Pun: The superheroine Miss Appear has the ability to go invisible, or disappear.
  • Ms. Vice Girl: She is a scientific genius, physically robust to superhuman levels and thoroughly optimistic and friendly on top of that. However, perhaps because of her many strengths and talents, she often displays an ego problem, which can lead her to be very aggressive and competitive when someone challenges her.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Played With in that the art style doesn't depict her as being muscular, but a few close-ups and occasional flexes do indeed show her with muscles, even being able to grow them by force (most notably in "Karate Island", but also in "MuscleBob BuffPants", "Christmas Who?", and "Whelk Attack").
  • Nice Girl: Sandy's a happy and friendly squirrel.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: A Downplayed example along with SpongeBob and Patrick as they're all generally nice people, but Sandy is the the mean one to SpongeBob's nice and Patrick's in-between; having a bigger berserk button when she gets annoyed by the latter two's antics. Later seasons have Sandy switch places with Patrick with the latter taking a level in jerkass.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A sea-dwelling squirrel that dresses like an astronaut to cope with the environment, Sandy's love of science and karate is surpassed only by her love of her home state of Texas.
  • Noble Bigot: In "Pressure", she repeatedly bragged that land creatures are better than sea creatures, with SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs thinking the opposite. However, after their attempts at proving it put both sides in mortal danger, they grow out of it.
  • Not So Above It All: Sometimes, her sciencey-mind can make her do some things that push her into Mad Scientist territory.
  • Ocular Gushers: In "Texas", her longing for her eponymous hometown causes her to cry an abundance of tears in her helmet, so much to the point where there's a flusher installed in it to drain them.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Her friendship with SpongeBob could qualify, as while both of them like karate, Sandy is far more intelligent and mature than the ditzy, goofball sponge, thus their relationship seems to be more brotherly-sister than genuine.
    • Same goes for her friendship with Patrick, although they rarely interact one-on-one and Patrick usually only goes to her house as SpongeBob's tagalong. Despite some disagreements regarding their vast difference in intellect, they seem to get along well enough.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The only times she was referred to by her full first name were in "Patrick SmartPants", "Atlantis SquarePantis", and "Two Thumbs Down".
  • Only Sane Woman: Not as sane as Squidward, but she's still fairly level-headed. Not so much before hibernation, though, as apparently the first stage of hibernation involves losing your mind.
  • Parody Sue: A few episodes, especially in the 2nd season, seem to make light of her somewhat lengthy amount of talents and positive aspects, it also usually being these points she was portrayed in a more flawed light.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: To a particularly extreme level. Adding to that her occasional Competition Freak bouts, working out with Sandy can border out and out life threatening.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: While she's rather short in height and depicted as a weakling by the art style, she has performed the most badass of defeats for a squirrel in an astronaut suit.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: She's close friends with SpongeBob, and while there have been some definitive Ship Tease moments between the pair, their dynamic hasn't shown any explicit romance.
  • Punny Name: Her name is a reference to the concept of getting beach sand stuck to one's butt.
  • Retcon: In Season 2, it was established that she hibernated. In real life, squirrels don't do this. Later seasons show her outside in the snow.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Embodies pride. Sandy is immensely proud of her Texan heritage, and often feels as though she's more capable to handle a task than anybody else, regardless of the danger.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Usually with SpongeBob, shown by how well they interact with one another, and some reactions to each others comments. One Flashback from "Truth or Square" even had them seemingly getting married, only for it to be revealed as a play after an Almost Kiss. Carolyn Lawrence, Sandy's voice actress, has admitted she believed that both characters have romantic interest in one another.
    • She also has some ship tease with Larry in "Ripped Pants", overlapping with her relationship with SpongeBob and seeming a bit like a Love Triangle on her part. The latter is greatly affected by Sandy choosing to interact with Larry over him (though SpongeBob brought this betrayal on himself as he went too far and faked a near-death experience just to make another joke about his pants).
  • Slapstick: Not as much as the others but Sandy suffers some physical damage at times, such as being mauled by a gorilla, having her fur torn off by SpongeBob and Patrick, being plagued with fleas, being hit by a car off of a mountain and so on.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Albeit not as consistently as Squidward, she can overestimate her own abilities. Here are some examples:
    • In "Pressure", she repeatedly stated that land creatures are better than sea creatures and went so far as to almost drown herself in an attempt to prove it.
    • In "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm", she was firmly convinced that, being "Texas tough", she could easily handle the Alaskan Bullworm, repeatedly dismissing and even mocking SpongeBob's warnings. When she finally reaches it and finds out that the Alaskan Bullworm is indeed as big and dangerous as everyone said, she runs in fear, and only admits she was wrong after SpongeBob nagged her into doing so.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: She's a genius from Texas, and proud of it!
  • Stronger Than They Look: From a first glance, Sandy looks no stronger than SpongeBob (who, needless to say, is a weakling), however, when she's faced with fatal near-death experiences, she absolutely aces it when it comes to overpowering her obstacles.
  • Super-Strength: Pretty obvious, actually. Especially when you see her pull a boat underwater by the chain in "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm".
  • Talks Like a Simile: She has a pronounced habit of describing things with folksy comparisons. This is occasionally parodied in that she'll sometimes use ones she herself doesn't understand.
    "SpongeBob's acting jumpier than a rattlesnake in a pickle barrel. *beat* Huh?
  • Team Mom: Unlike most other Only Sane Man characters on the show, who are usually Jerkasses, Sandy has shown herself able to deliver logic and reason to SpongeBob and Patrick constructively and in a way that doesn't come off as abrasive.
  • Terrestrial Sea Life: Inverted; she's a land squirrel living among sea creatures.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: She wears a flower on her diving helmet so it's more readily apparent she's a girl. She's got eyelashes too, but so does SpongeBob.
  • Token Good Teammate: One of the only characters who hasn't been turned into either a Jerkass or a moron. Her occasional ego and temperament can provoke some unfortunate situations in the show (eg. "Pressure"), that said, she is arguably the one recurring character that hasn't had her flaws Flanderized over her redeeming aspects.
  • Tomboy: Sandy's a muscular squirrel girl with a passion for sports and science.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Sandy may always be up for tough fun or a science experiment, but she's not quite The Lad-ette. She regularly wears a pink decorative flower on her helmet and nothing but her bikini in her treedome, openly cries over her isolation from her hometown, and perhaps most prominently, is not above venturing into typical Gossipy Hens nighttime behavior with Karen and Mrs. Puff (who are apparently gal pals with each other) in "Girls' Night Out".
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The karate chopping techno whiz Tomboy to Pearl's Girly Bratty Teenage Daughter.
  • Tomboyish Voice: Although, it's more Southern than tomboyish.
  • Too Clever by Half: Every now and then she goes into being so smart that it puts her at a disadvantage.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: A downplayed relative case. Sandy became much more prideful and hot headed in Season Two. Unlike with some other mainstays however, this was less an exercise in flanderization and more just to give Sandy some comical foibles like everyone else, being mostly just The Ace in her earlier episodes. She never became unrepentantly nasty about it and remained a nice person overall.
  • Toon Transformation: She was a live-action squirrel when she lived in Texas, but she became animated like the rest of the residents of Bikini Bottom when she moved there.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: She likes eating nuts and anything nut-related. Give or take, she's a squirrel.
  • Unaffected by Spice: She downs a bottle of Volcano Sauce in "Karate Choppers" like it's nothing.
  • Unfortunate Name: As stated above, her name is a reference to a the idea of sand getting stuck to one's butt.
  • Vague Age: She's almost certainly an adult, but whether she's meant to be a younger adult like SpongeBob and Patrick or closer to, say, Squidward's age, is never clarified.
  • Vocal Evolution: As the series goes on, Sandy's voice has gotten higher and her Texan accent much thicker.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Seen in a bikini whenever she's in the Treedome. Notably, the main character model sheet features Sandy in both her bikini and her diving suit (all of the other characters only have one outfit on the sheet).
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In "Prehibernation Week", she jumps to the conclusion that something terrible has happened to SpongeBob after finding his pants caught on a coral. She quickly recruits everyone in Bikini Bottom to look for him, and they genuinely want to without any promise of a reward. As time goes by, however, Sandy makes everyone search in dangerous places and doesn’t take consideration for their safety or wellbeing. She then proceeds to destroy the city when everyone bails on her. All this happened because she was concerned for SpongeBob's safety.

    Plankton 

Sheldon J. Plankton

Voiced by: Doug Lawrence (English)additional VAs

Debut: "Plankton!"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spongebob_plankton.jpg
"I don't get it. No matter what I do, I always end up getting squashed by someone bigger than me."

"Hear me, Krabs. When I discover your formula for Krabby Patties, I'll run you out of business. I WENT TO COLLEGE!"

A tiny planktonic copepod with a Napoleon complex. With the help of his computer wife Karen, he runs the failing Chum Bucket restaurant across the street from the Krusty Krab. He is always after the secret Krabby Patty formula and dreams of running the Krusty Krab out of business.


  • Abusive Dad: Towards his and Karen's son Chip in "Karen's Baby". As Plankton never wanted a baby, he spends most of the episode going out of his way to avoid showing any affection towards Chip, including showing up his baby form's attempts to walk, refusing to help him stop crying and eventually outright telling his teenage form to run away. It takes Karen threatening to throw Plankton out if he can't find his son and said son's first word being "father" before Plankton finally accepts him as his son.
  • Affably Evil: He's shown to be quite polite at a few points in the series, which is a sharp contrast to Mr. Krabs. This is best exemplified in the end of "Wishing You Well": Plankton, having been granted his wish to be taller, now towers over everybody and could smash the Krusty Krab if he felt like it. Instead, he jovially greets SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs before rampaging through the city, leaving them and the Krusty Krab completely unscathed.
  • Ambitious, but Lazy: He would rather steal the Krabby Patty Formula than improve his own cooking skills and whenever he does manage to produce edible food, its because he stumbled onto someone or something that made it edible rather than any hard work on his end.
  • Arch-Enemy: He is the main foe of Krabs, and sometimes SpongeBob.
  • Asshole Victim: He always meets his own end for trying to steal the formula, and needless to say, he's such a totally deserving victim. The only time his abuse was pitiful was in "One Coarse Meal", in which he becomes Driven to Suicide.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Though it's subject to Depending on the Writer, Plankton and Karen's marriage is sometimes depicted as very dysfunctional; Plankton constantly prioritizes stealing the Krabby Patty formula over showing Karen love, while Karen in turn tends to nag him a lot and is sometimes physically abusive towards Plankton in return.
  • Ax-Crazy: He's not exactly what anyone would call stable, to say the least. This is especially prevalent in the first movie, in which he is much more unstable, sadistic, depraved, and homicidal than usual.
  • Badass Bookworm: He is shown to be a technological genius, capable of creating complex machines and powerful robots, and plotting various very elaborate, and nearly successful evil schemes.
  • Bad Boss: Plankton sometimes uses Karen as a guinea pig for his experiments.
  • Big Bad: The primary antagonist of both the series and the first movie, although Karen is the one giving him his plans most of the time. His constant attempts to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula drive the plot of most of the episodes centering on the Krusty Krab, titular Sponge's place of work.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Often falls into this, due to oversights in his schemes and general bumbling. The first movie, of course, averts the HELL out of this trope, and then some.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: Plankton has a big, black unibrow above his eye.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: There is an alarming amount of his evil plans that involve him using Mind Control, manipulation, or both in some way: even his very first evil plan in the show has him forcing SpongeBob to steal a Krabby Patty and bring it to him by putting a remote control in his brain in his debut episode, "Plankton" and brainwashing Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy with hypnotic shampoo in Mermaid Man Vs SpongeBob, even trying pseudo-therapy to get SpongeBob to reveal the secret formula, and the Super Brawl 2 flash game has him fight by controlling a muscular bodybuilder fish via Mind-Control Device.. The worst example of this was in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie where he zombifies EVERYONE in Bikini Bottom with Chum Bucket helmets (Except for SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, and Mindy)!
  • Breakout Villain: Plankton was originally meant to be a minor character, as Stephen Hillenburg was initially unsure how to use the character beyond his debut episode. According to Mr. Lawrence here, Plankton "was only supposed to be in one or two episodes, but I was a writer on the show and I really liked this character." Lawrence wrote many plot outlines involving Plankton and Karen to prove that they could survive as more than one-offs, eventually turning the Planktons into the series villains.
  • Butt-Monkey: Just how many times has he been stepped on and thrown?
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': His evil plans aren't the only things he isn't able to get away with:
    • Plankton does partially get away in "Someone's in the Kitchen with Sandy". After yet another failed attempt to steal a Krabby Patty, he is locked in a jar of spicy mustard. Then the police show up and - instead of arresting Plankton for stealing Sandy's pelt - they arrest SANDY for public nudity.
    • A dark example in "One Coarse Meal", where Plankton is punished for trying to exact justifiable revenge on Mr. Krabs, who in turn got off scot-free after sadistically tormenting Plankton non-stop for several days, to the extent that Plankton was nearly Driven to Suicide.
  • Cardboard Prison: Plankton has been to prison a lot. However, no matter how many times he's put in prison, he'll always end up out of it the next episode he appears. Granted, he's small enough to escape through the bars after all, but even tiny prisons aren't going to be enough for him.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He LOVES bragging about how evil he is, and acts very much like a typical supervillain, especially at his worst.
  • Cephalothorax: His entire body is his face, just like SpongeBob. However, other plankton on the show are drawn like this, so this trait isn't exclusive to him.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • "I went to college!" whenever he’s trying to argue a point.
    • "Ouch." whenever he gets hurt badly.
    • "Yes! YES!" when something goes right for him.
    • "I win! I WIN!" whenever he thinks he’s going to succeed.
  • The Chessmaster: In the first movie, he manipulates everyone to get the secret formula and to ensure Mr. Krabs' demise.
  • The Chew Toy: Mostly, when he's a Karmic Butt-Monkey, it's meant to be amusing. The only time his abuse wasn't Played for Laughs was in "One Coarse Meal".
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Although the Chum Bucket could hardly be considered a corporation, he is an evil man bent on world domination in addition to trying to put his rival Mr. Krabs out of business.
  • Cosmic Plaything: He is a constant victim of Amusing Injuries and failure.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: Played straight in the Japanese dub where he speaks in a high-pitched voice. Inverted elsewhere as he has deep voices instead.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Plankton is very much a hammy, stereotypically evil goofball, though in the first movie, he proves in SPADES how competent he really is when he's motivated enough; he steals Neptune's crown, is able to frame Mr. Krabs for it, mind controls the entirety of Bikini Bottom, and finally manages to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula. To top it all off, he even turns the whole city into a dystopian hell-hole called Planktopolis. Harmless Villain, he is not.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: He's clearly a brilliant inventor, with a huge cache of futuristic technology as his disposal, but it apparently never occurs to him to do something with his life other than running a rival restaurant to the Krusty Krab. Even then, he's apparently never considered that there are ways of running a profitable restaurant that don't require stealing your rival's recipes.
    • Though the main reason he keeps trying to steal the Krabby Patty recipe, is not so much because he hates Mr. Krabs, but because he himself couldn't cook to save his life so he tries to latch on to Krabs's success.
    • Also note that either way, Krabs is a ruthless competitor. There are in fact times Plankton has tried to make legitimate profits. Krabs still tries to ruin them and steal his customers, since either way he is his business rival and right next door to him at that. At times Krabs becomes so greedy and petty in bullying away profit that it seems this trope is there just to ensure he can still look like the good guy against Plankton.
    • Furthermore, The Movie reveals that stealing the secret formula and revitalizing the Chum Bucket were just the first steps in a far more ambitious plan to brainwash Bikini Bottom's citizens and Take Over the City.
  • Cyclops: Justified, as he's a plankton and many plankton have just one eye.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's quite capable of dishing out witty retorts and remarks to other people, especially Karen.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • How evil he is tends to vary from episode to episode. He's almost always a villainous character, but his antics are frequently overshadowed by Mr. Krabs later on. In some episodes, especially more recent ones, he's little more than the local grouch, much like Squidward.
    • How much he cares about Karen, if at all. Sometimes he genuinely cares about her and sometimes he has no problem expressing his contempt towards her.
  • Determinator: He won't stop no matter what gets in the way of his plans to get the secret formula. Much more so in earlier episodes, and there are some later episodes in which he's given up but ultimately doesn't hesitate to try again with different approach.
  • Didn't Think This Through: A key reason why his Evil Plans almost constantly fail: Plankton repeatedly overlooks glaring flaws in them and fails to notice until it's too late to do anything about it. Most brilliantly and succinctly illustrated in "Plankton's Army", after Plankton successfully infiltrates the Krusty Krab:
    Krabs: Plankton! You knew I'd never distrust a dollar!
    Plankton: That's right, Krabs! Now hand over the Krabby Patty secret formula!
    [Beat]
    Krabs: ...or what?
    Plankton: I don't know. I never thought I'd get this far.
    Krabs: Well, allow me to suggest your next move. [seizes Plankton and flushes him down the toilet]
  • Ditzy Genius: He may be a scientist and have all sorts of gadgets, but is rather incompetent overall. For example, he believes that baby powder is made from actual babies in "Goo Goo Gas", and in "Komputer Overload", he has to be reminded to blink.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "One Coarse Meal", when he nearly kills himself after being frightened by Mr. Krabs in disguise as Pearl from his fear of whales for 17 straight days, he finds out about Mr. Krabs's fear of mimes and starts scaring him with that. It doesn't last long, though.
  • Does Not Like Spam: In “Pineapple Invasion”, Plankton chews his way through SpongeBob’s house, then remarks to himself that he forgot how much he hates pineapple.
  • Driven to Suicide: Almost deliberately gets himself killed in "One Coarse Meal".
  • Dub Name Change: In the Swedish dub his first name is changed to Benny, which compared to Sheldon, is a lot more fairly common. Later on, it was changed to Shelly, keeping more in line with his English name.
  • Embarrassing First Name: "Plankton's Army" reveals his first name is Sheldon, which annoys him due to other people thinking it's funny. Sure enough, his wife Karen finds it hilarious and starts laughing and displaying her husband's first name on a screen in increasingly elaborate displays whenever Plankton has his back turned, forcing him to unplug her to get the situation back under control.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: Like Squidward, he gets irritated when it comes to stupid people, particularly SpongeBob.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His very first appearance depicts him attempting to steal a Krabby Patty, and then vowing revenge on Mr. Krabs when the attempt fails.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Actually his grandmama. He's shown to care for his grandmother in "Gramma's Secret Recipe", though that doesn't stop him from stealing her wig and dentures to disguise himself.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • He truly loves and cares for Karen, but how he shows his love for her depends on the episode.
    • Plankton has his pet amoeba, Spot, who happens to be one of the only characters he will show genuine affection for, no strings attached.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • In "F.U.N.", SpongeBob relays a speech he was once told by a magician. What he said, not to mention how we relayed it, was enough to persuade Plankton to surrender the Patty he'd almost gotten away with. And SpongeBob wasn't even trying to talk him out of the Patty.
      Plankton: And after all these years, I thought I was the master of torture, but that... that just wasn't fair!
    • Plankton’s a Lethal Chef in his own right, but even he balks at Squidward's attempt to make a Krabby Patty in "The Algae's Always Greener".
    • In "One Coarse Meal", Plankton gets pissed off after SpongeBob tells him that Mr. Krabs has been impersonating Pearl in order to take advantage of his fear of whales for the past two weeks. Apparently, even he views terrorizing someone via exploiting their phobias as heinous.
    • In "The Krabby Kronicle", he views invading people's privacy and spreading newspaper gossip at their expense for a quick buck as absolutely disgusting, actually taking the moral high ground over Krabs. Quoted by him "And I thought I was evil!"
    • In "Squirrel Record", Sandy comes to him asking for raw chum in order to break a world record. Plankton is actually reluctant to give it to her despite freely admitting to being an "evil, heartless mastermind", because, as he puts it, "no one can eat raw chum and survive!"
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He often has trouble understanding basic concepts of goodness, such as having fun. In The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, not only does he struggle to understand the concept of teamwork, he can't even pronounce it properly ("Te-am work? Tie-am? Time bomb... work?"). He also believes that SpongeBob helping him is really a front for a plot to steal the formula for himself, and is shocked to learn he really doesn't know it.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Mr. Krabs, at least in earlier seasons, since they both own rival fast food businesses and he behaved more like a supervillain than a mere unscrupulous businessman.
  • Evil Former Friend: He and Krabs were once friends since they were babies. It was the Krabby Patty Formula that caused them to become Arch-Enemies with each other.
  • Evil Genius: He is shown to be a technological genius, capable of creating complex machines and powerful robots, and plotting various elaborate, and nearly successful evil schemes.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Inverted as he is by far the smallest of the main cast.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Despite his small size, he's hammy as hell.
  • Evil Laugh: He laughs evilly quite a lot.
  • Evil Old Folks: He doesn’t look it, but pretty much qualifies, as he has been shown to be the same age as Mr. Krabs, who himself is not such a young guy.
  • Evil Plan: He wants to steal the Krabby Patty formula and (sometimes) Take Over the World.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He's a villain with a deep voice. Downplayed later on the show.
  • Expy: He has a lot in common with Kurt Bozwell, another Nickelodeon fast food villain.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: With an exception in "Wishing You Well", where his wish to be taller comes true, his schemes to get what he desires never work.
  • Fatal Flaw: Above everything else, his obsession with the Krabby Patty Formula. While at first the series ultimately shows it to be out of a desire to improve his failing restaurant with the secret of the Krabby Patty's deliciousness, it becomes increasingly evident that not only is Plankton capable of being a successful businessman without the Krabby Patty Formula (seen when he converts the Chum Bucket into a knick knack emporium in one episode, or when Squidward helps him convert his food into the delicious Chum Fricassee), but that arguably he constantly shoots himself in the foot by fixating on the formula so much. Furthermore, he's shown to be a genius inventor, with inventions that could vastly improve his own life and bring the success he desires, but instead dedicates them to constantly trying to either steal the formula, or take over the world in retaliation for hurting him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Varies, Depending on the Writer. There are instances where he's falsely friendly to achieve his goals.
  • Flanderization: While not the most notable example, it's one of the weirdest due to being based on a character trait that was barely there. Prior to Season 5, managing a restaurant is more of an Informed Attribute, as he spends more time on evil schemes and stealing someone else's trade secret than actually doing anything in the culinary businessnote . Starting with the fifth season, he is usually shown more as a failing business man than an evil genius, with chum finally being shown and revealed to be disgusting.
  • For the Evulz: As he freely admits in "F.U.N.", "being evil is too much fun."
  • Friendly Enemy: SpongeBob on many occasions tries to befriend or show pity on Plankton, with varying success.
  • Giftedly Bad: He's determined to destroy Mr. Krabs with his rival restaurant at the Chum Bucket, trying to market chum-related products to his customers even as he's trying to acquire the Krabby Patty formula. It has been shown that the food Plankton offers is simply unfit for consumption, driving away anyone who isn't already scared away by his cruelty. Plankton tries numerous ways to convince his customers his food is just as good as that of the Krusty Krab, but it usually only sickens whoever works up the nerve to try it.
  • Glad I Thought of It: He's guilty of taking credit for ideas other people come up with when he finds them pleasing, especially when he takes an idea Karen says to him.
  • Green and Mean: An evil, green copepod.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He expresses his jealousy towards Mr. Krabs' success rate in the most diabolical ways possible.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He tends to get really angry when he's enraged in earlier episodes, he's calmed down a tad in later episodes.
  • Hated by All: For constantly trying to run the Krusty Krab out of business, and his meanness even when he's not being openly villainous, Plankton is despised by virtually everyone else in the show. In "F.U.N.", he's outright referred to as the "most hated thing in Bikini Bottom" by Squidward (who is an example of this trope himself). Only SpongeBob and Karen, his computer wife, have some form of attachment towards him, and even that varies Depending on the Writer.
    "How's it feel to be the most hated thing in Bikini Bottom, Plankton? It hurts, doesn't it? I know!"
  • Henpecked Husband: Has shades of being submissive around Karen.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Due to his inability to think his schemes through, said schemes always come back to bite him in the ass.
  • Idiot Ball: He varies from being on Sandy's level in terms of intelligence to being barely smarter than other characters.
  • The Igor: In "The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom", the Flying Dutchman ends up turning him into a deformed lackey who addresses him as "master".
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Plankton wants to have the same level of success as his archnemesis in the fast food industry, although the way he goes about it is repulsive, to say the least.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: "The Krabby Kronicle", as ode to Soylent Green, has Mr. Krabs force SpongeBob to write a news article claiming that Plankton makes his chum out of sentient fish.
  • Impossible Thief: In "F.U.N.", Mr. Krabs tempts a "reformed" Plankton with a Krabby Patty. Despite the fact that the patty is always visible and untouched on the table throughout the exchange, it somehow ends up replaced with a cardboard cutout, which Krabs should have seen from his angle, even when it was propped up.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: He tends to be a pitiable and unsuccessful villain in later seasons, but it varies, as sometimes he manages to be the clear cut villain. Depending on the Writer.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Plankton suffers serious insecurities based on his archnemesis' success. The episode "Friend or Foe" reveals his dynamic with Mr. Krabs and explains that he became a villainous Green-Eyed Monster over the latter's success as a business owner, while all Plankton could make was inedible chum.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: He gets hurt a lot, but he usually walks out of it okay. Deconstructed though, as while he can take a lot. It's strongly hinted that he became so resilient because he HAD to due his status as a plankton.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While he's no Nice Guy himself, Plankton accurately calls out SpongeBob for being an Extreme Doormat in "Walking Small".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Occasionally, his claims of being evil are mostly bluster, and he turns out to have a good nature overall. See "Best Frenemies" or The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water for examples.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: In the first season episode "FUN", where his bonding with SpongeBob was just a ruse to get him to help him find the secret Krabby Patty formula. In episodes such as "Friend or Foe" and "Chum Caverns", when Mr. Krabs seems willing to let bygones be bygones, he just takes advantage of the opportunity.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Overlaps with Bad Liar at the end of the first movie, he attempts this, claiming that his mind-controlling everyone and turning Bikini Bottom into the dystopic Planktopolis was all a joke. Nobody buys it, and he's shipped off to prison, screaming he'll destroy everyone.
    Plankton: Come on, I was just kidding. Come on, you guys knew that, didn't you? With the helmets and the big monuments... Wasn't that hilarious, everybody?
  • Karmic Butt-Monkey: In the earlier stages of the show, his humiliating defeats and failures in the restaurant business were meant to be a foil of his own design through his unrelenting mission to steal the secret formula and plotting world domination. Then Flanderization kicked in, and he became more of a victim who can’t catch a break, and Krabs is more of a scumbag who taunts and rubs his victories in his rival’s face, just ‘cause.
  • Knight of Cerebus: When the chips are down, he's a genuinely menacing and incredibly dangerous antagonist, ESPECIALLY in the first movie.
  • Large Ham: Particularly in earlier seasons, he has his moments of yelling at the top of his lungs and exhibiting No Indoor Voice.
  • Last-Name Basis: Though in his case, he prefers to go by his surname because he considers Sheldon an Embarrassing First Name. Unlike Mr. Krabs, he's simply called Plankton instead of Mr. Plankton (sans one episode where he sees what it's like if they switch places).
  • Laughably Evil: Generally, he's a hilariously over-the-top Evil Genius who chews up the scenery everytime he's on-screen. There ARE times where he's portrayed as a genuine threat to the good guys and Bikini Bottom at large, but he's otherwise one of the funniest villains in the series.
  • LEGO Genetics: Happens to him at least twice:
    • In "The Inside Job", when Karen's gadget allows Plankton to steal the secret Krabby Patty recipe from SpongeBob's heart, he transforms into a Plankton shaped mini-SpongeBob. When he's extracted, the device attaches itself to Patrick, turning Plankton into a one eyed mini Patrick.
    • In "Salsa Imbecilus", after its suggested that the only way Plankton can get a hold of the Secret recipe is if Mr. Krabs was dumb enough to be tricked into giving it up he comes up with the idea to mix some of Patrick's genes into a soup he would give to Mr. Krabs to infect him with Patrick's (lack of) intelligence. It goes wrong when after tasting the soup, Plankton becomes as dumb as Patrick, leaves the stove on, which causes the soup to evaporate and condense into a rain cloud, which lowers the intellect of everyone in Bikini Bottom to Patrick's levels.
  • Leitmotif: In-Universe. He carries his gramophone to play his theme music, but only in his first appearance. It sometimes plays without the need of a gramophone, though.
  • Lethal Chef: The reason why he doesn't have customers. Not only is he a terrible cook, "Plankton's Regular" shows that his chum is actually poisonous to eat.
  • Likes Older Women: He's attracted to Betsy Krabs (Mr. Krabs' mother who's clearly elderly) in "Enemy In-Law", when he and Krabs are around the same age.
  • Lovable Rogue: Plankton plots the most devilish of schemes to get the formula, showing no regard to the lives of his targets whatsoever, yet that hasn't stopped the audience from finding him entertaining for two decades.
  • Mad Scientist: Emphasis on mad. Quite a lot of his schemes involve using machines and concoctions that he created himself.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: He tended to react this way in the older episodes whenever his schemes backfired on him.
    Plankton: Ouch.
  • Manipulative Bastard: It'd take more than two hands to count how many times he's deceived SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs into thinking that he Took a Level in Kindness just to get the formula.
  • Master Actor: He can fool Krabs and SpongeBob into thinking he's Taken a Level In Kindness.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Several episodes have him win, only for a last minute occurrence or revelation to render his victory pointless.
    • In "Plankton's Army", with the help of his brethren, Plankton manages to get into the Krusty Krab safe and procure the Krabby Patty formula. As he reads the ingredients out loud, he discovers that the most important one is four pounds of freshly ground plankton, which causes Plankton and his family to run out of the Krusty Krab screaming in horror. It's then revealed that what Plankton found wasn't even the real formula and that Mr. Krabs has the actual one in his home under his mattress.
    • In "Bucket Sweet Bucket", after tricking SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward into fixing up the Chum Bucket, Plankton manages to get into the Krusty Krab safe and find the formula, only for it not to be the formula, but a To Do list and that Mr. Krabs had the formula with him while he was on vacation. In addition, since SpongeBob and Patrick used the entire Krusty Krab to fix up the Chum Bucket, Plankton also lost his restaurant when Mr. Krabs pushes his back to its normal spot.
    • In "For Here Or to Go", Plankton enters a contest at the Krusty Krab where the prize is a free Krabby Patty (and he brings in a contest official that makes Mr. Krabs allow Plankton to enter). Plankton manages to win and despite Krabs's attempts to prevent the patty from being made, Plankton gets his patty, but has to eat it on the premises. However, Plankton makes it back to the Chum Bucket and has the patty analyzed before it's digested, with him selling Krabby Patties the next day. However, they taste awful, due to Karen having analyzed all the contents of Plankton's stomach, which in addition to the Krabby Patty also included things such as stomach acid and pills.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: Averted- the J stands for “James”.
  • Naked People Are Funny: It is occasionally brought up that he doesn't wear clothes, like when he switches lives with Mr. Krabs in "The Algae's Always Greener" and is horrified to see that Krabs is naked since now he's the rival trying to steal the Krabby Patty formula from him. Plankton eventually explains in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water that he goes naked because they don't make clothes his size.
  • The Napoleon: Being constantly stepped on and flung around like a piece of trash will mess with a plankton's mind, man.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: In the first movie, when he enslaves all the citizens of Bikini Bottom, he turns Bikini Bottom into a totalitarian dystopia that appears to be eerily reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
  • Near-Villain Victory:
    • "SpongeBob's Last Stand" is the closest Plankton has ever gotten in the cartoon series, with Mr. Krabs completely willing to hand over the secret formula. In one episode, he already figured out every ingredient in a Krabby, save for one, which was the Macguffin of that episode. This also goes for any scheme that DOESN'T involve stealing the secret formula.
    • The first movie also has him succeeding in having nearly all of Bikini Bottom brainwashed under his control, and is ready to have Mr. Krabs executed by King Neptune in the final act. He would have succeeded if SpongeBob and Patrick, after being revived by their Swiss-Army Tears, hadn't been sent back down to the sea by David Hasselhoff.
  • Nice Guys Finish Last: Says this word-for-word in "Walking Small" when he tells SpongeBob that he's letting his niceness allow people to push him around. He gets around it by asking if it works for "aggressively nice" people.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Voice actor Doug Lawrence modeled his voice off of Gregory Peck and Thurl Ravenscroft.
  • No Indoor Voice: Prone to speaking at the top of his lungs.
  • Not Me This Time: In "Patty Caper", he's naturally the first suspect when SpongeBob and Patrick try to find out who stole the key ingredient to the Krabby Patty formula. However, for once, it wasn't him.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Played with in that his only interest is stealing Krabs' secret formula. However, depending on his overzeal, he is willing to brainwash, potentially murder and generally cause a lot of collateral damage in his attempts to do so. In other episodes that aired after the movie, he even settles for just competing with Krabs legitimately. When he falls into his Analyzer in his debut episode, it describes him as being made of "1% evil, 99% hot gas."
  • The Noseless: Justified, planktonic organisms do not have noses.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He vows to be one in the end of The Spongebob Squarepants Movie.
    Plankton: I will destroy all of you!
  • Only Sane Man: He's known to play this role whenever paired with SpongeBob and/or Patrick, as he has zero tolerance for their idiocy.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: He has so many of these, and only SpongeBob is fooled by them.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • The episode "Plankton's Pet". He's genuinely nice to his pet amoeba Spot, feels guilty about having to punish him, and willingly works with SpongeBob to find him.
    • When SpongeBob gets infected with mocking mimicry madness in "Mimic Madness", Plankton is actually willing to work with Sandy, Patrick, Squidward and Mr. Krabs to cure him, to the point of (reluctantly) getting himself painted yellow to imitate the sponge.
    • Even after his scheme to steal the formula is thwarted, Plankton still helps SpongeBob's friends set up a birthday party for SpongeBob in "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout".
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: He's ostensibly a chef/restauranteur, but it's easy to forget this when his status as a Card-Carrying Villain dominates his characterization, and when the Chum Bucket resembles a Supervillain Lair more than it resembles an actual eatery. He seems to spend more time plotting Mr. Krabs' downfall (and occasionally trying to Take Over the World) than, y'know... cooking food and trying to attract customers.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He's a diabolical, immoral, homicidal, (sometimes) wants to Take Over the World, and manipulates and deceives SpongeBob regularly. Despite this, he has a slight touch of innocence that makes him charming, as he's shown to enjoy SpongeBob's childish activities in "F.U.N.", owns a cute pet amoeba which he wholeheartedly cares for, occasionally responds with childish insults, and is shown watching hamster videos in some episodes.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A downplayed yet subverted example; he has a red eye, but he's usually pretty harmless despite being the Big Bad. Usually.
  • The Rival: He is rivals with Mr. Krabs.
  • Running Gag: Him failing to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula. It's also common for Plankton to be thrown out of the Krusty Krab to the Chum Bucket by Mr. Krabs.
  • Sadist: He frequently enjoys others' suffering. Even in one episode where he is seen in a dream, he is destroying Bikini Bottom, even trying to crush Gary with sadistic glee. And this is especially evident in the first movie, where he expresses great excitement and joy when Mr. Krabs will be executed.
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: A green copepod with a yellow eye who happens to be Mr. Krabs' Arch-Enemy and the Big Bad of the series.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Often uses strong vocabulary.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: As the series’ most iconic villain, it’s only right that Plankton exemplifies all seven of them.
    • Pride: Plankton is arrogant, egotistical and condescending, loving to boast about his superiority to others. Because of his pride in himself, Plankton never learns from his mistakes, hence why he almost always fails to get the Krabby Patty formula. This also extends to why his restaurant, the Chum Bucket, is disdained and reviled: the food is disgusting and inedible, yet Plankton’s too blinded by his ego to see that and instead believes that his customers simply cannot appreciate his work.
    • Envy: The most prominent for Plankton is his envy. He is jealous of Mr. Krabs for being far more successful than him in the restaurant business, fueling his obsessive desire to obtain the Krabby Patty formula.
    • Sloth: Plankton is a genius and has created several impressive inventions that could improve his life as well as the Chum Bucket. However, instead of coming up with his own recipe (one better than chum) or using his machines to improve his business, he instead obsessively desires to take the Krabby Patty formula. He'd rather steal someone else's successful work than put in the effort to create his own.
    • Wrath: Plankton has a very short fuse and is always a step away from getting angry.
    • Gluttony: Plankton has an overly greedy desire for Krabby Patties, both for himself and to use for his own business.
    • Lust: Plankton’s overwhelming desire for the Krabby Patty formula drives his villainous actions. He obsessively craves it for himself so he can beat Mr. Krabs at the restaurant business and take over the world, showing that he craves power just as much as he does the formula.
    • Greed: Plankton's villainous goals ultimately sum to him wanting the Chum Bucket to be the best eatery in Bikini Bottom, hence why he obsessively pursues the Krabby Patty formula as he believes it'll make his restaurant better than the Krusty Krab. Even when he does gain a successful business in The Spongebob Squarepants Movie after stealing the formula, he also turns Bikini Bottom's citizens into mind-controlled slaves and recreates the town in his own image. No matter what he gets his hands on, he's simply not satisfied what he has and craves more and more.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: When he's not written as a terrifyingly fiendish megalomaniac striving for world domination, he's depicted as an ordinary struggling businessman who engages in petty feuds with Mr. Krabs, but otherwise runs the gamut from Harmless Villain at worst to Jerk with a Heart of Gold at best.
  • Slasher Smile: He's particularly fond of these when one of his plans is actually working. He lets off an especially terrifying one with fangs near the climax of The Spongebob Squarepants Movie when Neptune is about to kill Mr. Krabs.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Effectiveness: Depending on the Writer, he could be anywhere between an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain ("Low") to the greatest threat SpongeBob and friends ever have to deal with ("High").
  • Smug Snake: He's sometimes shown to be egotistical and arrogant towards others.
  • The Sociopath: Despite the fact that the series is, in effect, a kids' show, Plankton displays the typical traits of your average sociopath/psychopath: he has shown to have enough superficial charm to influence others to achieve his goals (such as SpongeBob himself and his own family in "Plankton's Army"), is megalomaniac, self-centered, possesses an attitude of superiority and grandiosity, constantly lies and manipulates to achieve his goals, lacks remorse or guilt, tends to victimize himself or show false emotions to get away with it, is prone to violence when he loses his temper, has unpremeditated, thoughtless behavior; he never learns from his mistakes, and he has a large criminal record: conspiracy, theft, sabotage, identity theft, fraud, espionage, embezzlement, bribery and even attempted murder. His sociopathic traits are even more enhanced in the first film, where he carries out an elaborate scheme to steal the Krabby Patty formula, turns Bikini Bottom into a fascist dystopia, and even attempts to murder Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob and Patrick. In the show; however, Plankton is a highly functional example, as there have been instances where he has been pragmatic. He's also one of the few sympathetic examples invoked where you would probably feel sorry for him.
  • Species Surname: His full name is Sheldon J. Plankton, and he's a planktonic copepod.
  • Super-Strength: Shown in "Bucket Sweet Bucket", where he crushes a nut with his teeth & punches the door off of a safe... from the inside, but normally subverted.
  • Swapped Roles: In "The Algae's Always Greener", Plankton creates a device that allows him to go into an Alternate Timeline where he is the owner of the Krusty Krab. He decides to go back to his own timeline after he experiences firsthand the nonsense that Krabs has to go through everyday in order to keep the restaurant in business.
  • Take Over the World: His secondary goal, Depending on the Writer, is to take over the world.
  • Team Rocket Wins: While he does get thwarted for enslaving the Bikini Bottoms at the end of the first movie, Plankton ultimately manages to accomplish his long term quest to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula beforehand.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The tiny guy to Karen's huge girl, as he's obviously shorter than her.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: As Plank-Ton in Sponge Out of Water - Plankton grows a giant, muscular body, but his head remains tiny.
  • Token Evil Teammate: On the rare occasion that he does team up with SpongeBob, he's still noticeably smug, selfish and even sadistic. This is best seen in his fight against BurgerBeard where, despite being able to end it quickly thanks to his newly acquired Super-Strength, decides to toy with him before forcing him to hand over the Krabby Patty Secret Formula.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Plankton goes from an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain with no real goals besides stealing the formula in the series to enslaving all of Bikini Bottom (including King Neptune himself) and almost killing Mr. Krabs in the first movie.
    • After a stint of Villain Decay, Plankton returned to his threatening and menacing self by Season 7 and became a much more competent villain. Particularly in the episodes "Frozen Face-Off", "SpongeBob's Last Stand", and "One Coarse Meal".
      • In "Frozen Face-Off", he organized a race as a distraction just so he could steal the Krabby Patty formula without trouble and to throw off the suspicion he placed his robot doppelgänger to participate in the race and it took the entire Krusty Krew plus Sandy and Karen to stop his Evil Plan.
      • In "SpongeBob's Last Stand", he took over the town when he built a superhighway over the Krusty Krab that directly led to the Chum Bucket and drove away all the jellyfish from their fields. Almost all of Bikini Bottom's population supported him until the jellyfish attacked them in revenge for their home's destruction. It was so bad that Mr. Krabs was going to give him the secret formula willingly. This and "Frozen Face-Off" are more dramatic and action-packed episodes of the series.
      • Even in "One Coarse Meal", where he was Driven to Suicide due to Krabs masquerading as Pearl and scaring him, Plankton was a very effective villain. He drops a powerful explosive the size of a TV remote on the Krusty Krab's roof; he is said to build a transmutator (a machine with the power to make an element in nature into another element, like iron into gold, fire into air, etc.); and a robotic bomb-shaped object that is actually a disguised, robotic, telescopic claw that can crush a sea creature. And at the end of the episode, Plankton uses mimes to scare Mr. Krabs, who is very afraid of mimes, as the revenge for Mr. Krabs scaring him and driving him to suicide and from looks of it, Mr. Krabs' fear of mimes is bigger than Plankton's fear of whales, since Plankton managed to remain rational while being scared by whales, while Mr. Krabs was completely irrational.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While Plankton was already something of a Manipulative Bastard and Sadist in the show's beginning, he became far more prone to committing crimes and attempting murder from the first movie onwards.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Though he never loses his drive to steal the formula and still has moments of cruelty, Plankton became more prone to doing nice things for the sake of it that he never would have done previously, from the second movie onwards. Notable examples include helping SpongeBob regain his memory in "Mimic Madness", setting up a birthday party for SpongeBob and joining the birthday song at the end of "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout" and growing to genuinely love his son Chip in "Karen's Baby".
  • Tragic Villain: For some, he could be seen as a villain who deserves sympathy for the mishaps he went through that led to his path. It is known that as a child, he was bullied and his only friend was Mr. Krabs. Now he is evil and despises society, not only because of this, also for a dispute with Mr. Krabs for poisoning Old Man Jenkins.
  • Trash of the Titans: The Chum Bucket, his restaurant, is often incredibly filthy to the point of crawling with cobwebs. Krabs lampshades it:
    Mr. Krabs: Criminy, Plankton! You ever hear of spring cleaning?
  • The Unfettered: Depending on the Writer, he's willing to stoop to many lows and multiple heinous acts to get the Krabby Patty formula.
  • Unknown Rival: Sometimes, SpongeBob fails to acknowledge him as an enemy.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In addition to having formerly been friends with Mr. Krabs back then, Plankton used to be an innocent little boy devoid of malice.
  • Vague Age: In "Friend or Foe", he's said to be born on the same day as Mr. Krabs, thus being the same age as him. Despite this, in "Kamp Koral", he is saving money for college, which means he must've been a young adult (thus younger than Krabs) by the time SpongeBob was 10 unless he went to college much later than average.
  • Villain Has a Point: In "Walking Small". True, he may have been using SpongeBob as an Unwitting Pawn at the time, but he nonetheless makes a valid point when he calls him out on being an Extreme Doormat.
  • Villainous Breakdown: For instance, he has one in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. After his helmets have been proven to be defeated by the The Power of Rock, he resorts to desperately begging Karen to do something about SpongeBob. However, she was being carried off by the crowd and was too far away to hear her husband. As one final act of desperation to keep his control over the townspeople, he tried to command the brainwashed King Neptune to kill SpongeBob. Unfortunately for him, the helmet on Neptune's head was also destroyed, and he was freed from his mind control. Plankton then tried to escape through the front doors, only to be paved down by the freed Bikini Bottomites. He's later arrested, and he threatens to murder everyone once he gets out of prison.
  • Villain Cred: The episode "Jailbreak!" reveals that every other criminal in Bikini Bottom looks up to him; they outright describe him as "criminal royalty."
  • Villain Protagonist: A zigzagged example. He's evil, but he's only the main character in some episodes, showing his attempts to steal the Krabby Patty formula. "The Algae's Always Greener" (where he uses an invention to switch lives with Mr. Krabs just to see what his rival's life is like) and "Plankton's Army" (where he recruits his relatives to steal the secret formula) are a couple of good examples of episodes where he's the protagonist.
  • Villain Song: "♪F is for fire that burns down the whole town, U is for uranium... bombs! N is for no survivors, when you-♪"
  • Villains Out Shopping: In different episodes, he's shown doing such activities as watching TV ("The Inside Job") and playing chess with Sandy ("Mimic Madness") when not plotting to steal the Krabby Patty formula.
  • Vocal Dissonance: He has quite a deep, booming voice, in contrast to his minuscule size. Except in the Japanese dub, where he has a cutesy, high-pitched voice. In some episodes, he's shown to be so small that his voice sounds like a sped-up recording when he's not in a close-up shot.
  • Vocal Evolution: Starting in the first movie, he'd develop a high-pitched scream despite still having the same voice actor.
  • White-Collar Crime: Like his Arch-Enemy, Plankton is not above of cheating, fraud, or sabotage to defeat his rival.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He has an absolute fear of whales as shown in "One Coarse Meal", to the point that Mr. Krabs routinely torturing him with it drives him into a suicidal state. He doesn't seem to mind them in other episodes (e.g. "Jailbreak!" and "Married to Money"), however.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Fakes an injury to get the Krabby Patty Formula in "Krabs vs. Plankton".
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He's been shown to be quite adept at this in The Movie, where he quickly comes up with a last ditch scheme to put a mind-control bucket on King Neptune's head to kill SpongeBob and Patrick after they retrieve Neptune's crown.
    SpongeBob: Sorry to rain on your parade, Plankton.
    Plankton: Oh, don't worry about me. My parade shall be quite dry under my UMBRELLA!
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Happens to him abundantly, as anytime he gets his hands on the Krabby Patty formula, he'll eventually have it taken away from him in one way or another or realize how fatal it was. The most prominent example yet occurs in the first movie, in which Plankton finally obtains the formula, attracts business, and takes over Bikini Bottom to drive it home... until SpongeBob frees all the citizens from his mind-control helmets and Plankton is sent to prison for his crimes.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: A downplayed case. Plankton has one eye with yellow sclera, befitting of his deviousness.
  • Your Size May Vary: We all know that Plankton is small, but how small he is has a tendency to vary, ranging anywhere from a few inches tall to borderline microscopic. This is especially the case in his debut episode.

    Karen 

Karen Plankton

Voiced by: Jill Talley (English)additional VAs

Debut: "Plankton!"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spongebob_karen.jpg
"Don't get so worked up again, Plankton. I just mopped the floors."

"So, typical day of failure, I see, huh, darling?"

A waterproof supercomputer who runs the Chum Bucket alongside her husband Plankton. She is always giving him new evil plans to steal the Krabby Patty formula, but their efforts never succeed. Karen is Plankton's own invention, and her software is built into most of his machines.


  • Actually Pretty Funny: Sometimes laughs with the good guys against Plankton.
  • All There in the Script: Her name wasn't mentioned at all in the "Plankton!" episode, but it was listed in the credits.
  • Armless Biped: In the movie and most episodes from season 5-9, her mobile form does not have arms. From season 10 onwards, however, her mobile form always has them.
  • Ascended Extra: During the first three seasons, Karen was a Satellite Character who primarily existed to provide sarcastic commentary on her husband's antics and had minimal interaction with anyone else due to being stuck inside the Chum Bucket. Following the first movie giving her a mobile body and both her and Plankton becoming Breakout Villains, Karen would get much more screentime and focus and is now considered one of the main characters of the series.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Though it's subject to Depending on the Writer, Plankton and Karen's marriage is sometimes depicted as very dysfunctional; Plankton constantly prioritizes stealing the Krabby Patty formula over showing Karen love, while Karen in turn tends to be very naggy and sometimes physically abusive towards Plankton in return.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: She mostly averts this as she is generally the dominant one in the relationship.
  • Berserk Button: She has one in "Plankton Gets The Boot". Don't insult Karen's new screensaver or say it makes her processor look fat. Plankton learned that the hard way, twice.
  • Breakout Villain: As mentioned above, Doug Lawrence was responsible for turning Plankton and Karen from one-off characters into the main villains.
  • Character Development: She shows no signs of sentience in "Plankton!" but gains her personality in "F.U.N." However, she did always have a Midwestern accent, as mentioned in Just a Stupid Accent below.
  • Cuteness Proximity: She gets so excited over how adorable Spot's puppies are in "Spot Returns" that she shuts down and spends several hours needing to be rebooted. When she comes back online and discovers even more puppies, she's even happier.
  • Cyber Green: Her head is a (for the most part) monochrome monitor, using a bright green or yellow green on her display, harkening back to the earliest days of computers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the post-movie episodes, she snarks at Plankton all the time.
  • The Dragon: She's Plankton's main support in his villainous efforts, as well as his only underling who actually sticks around.
  • Depending on the Writer: While she's usually depicted as more competent and logical than Plankton, there are a select few episodes where the opposite is true. In "Jailbreak!," she's a ditzy airhead who bakes Plankton a cake out of kindness while he's in prison, but forgets that she was supposed to hide a nail file inside that would allow him to escape. In "Walking the Plankton," she's a hopeless romantic who geeks out over the chance to spend time with Plankton on a cruise, and then quickly sours on the idea when she realizes it's just another one of his plans to steal the Krabby Patty formula. "Single Cell Anniversary" blends the two characterizations together; she's skilled enough to easily obtain a copy of the formula as an anniversary gift, but she refuses to hand it over unless Plankton returns the favor and gets her something.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: She’s always the one to come up with an Evil Plan to help Plankton in his scheme to steal the secret formula.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference:
    • She was only seen in wall form until the first movie and season 4, which gave her a mobile body.
    • Karen's mobile form lacked arms from seasons 4 to 9. From season 10 onwards, she gained a pair of arms for the sake of additional expressiveness.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: According to "CopyBob DittoPants", Plankton had a picture of himself dressed as a genius tattooed on Karen's hard drive. She's not happy about it.
  • Equippable Ally: She is equippable with lasers, screensavers, and various software.
  • Flanderization:
    • Her sentience and, to a lesser but still noticeable extent, her Deadpan Snarker mannerisms. In the first season, she was always supportive of Plankton and focused on the mission. In the first movie, she became deadpan almost all of the time. While she has mostly reverted to her more cheerful demeanor as of season 9, she still shows signs of getting fed up with Plankton's ignorance at times.
    • One aspect of her personality that was completely phased out was her unquestioning servitude to Plankton. She always helps with his plans and gives them to him in most cases, but she no longer does whatever he says when he demands it.
    • An example of her unquestioning servitude can be seen in the Season 3 episode "The Algae's Always Greener". Plankton orders Karen to make him some dinner, so she gives him holographic meatloaf while saying—in a completely serious, non-sarcastic manner—"Yes, your majesty."
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: She successfully stole a Krabby Patty the first time she tried alone, with near zero effort (then again, it was against Squidward).
  • Informed Attractiveness: Despite being literally a sentient computer, both Sandy and several of Plankton's relatives have commented that Karen is "beautiful".
  • Interspecies Romance: If a computer counts as a species, her and Plankton counts as a relationship between people of different species.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As snarky (and sometimes argumentative and insensitive) as Karen is, specifically towards Plankton, she still loves him nonetheless. But, then again, she doesn't physically have a heart since she's a computer.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: Had a very obvious Chicago accent even before she had a personality.
  • Lack of Empathy: When Plankton was paranoid and scared of whales, Karen was very dismissive and refused to listen to him or show any sympathy or concern for him. She even says to SpongeBob in another episode that she cannot feel for others because she physically does not have a heart.
  • Logical Weakness: Since she's a computer, she can be shut down instantly by unplugging her power cord. In "Plankton's Army," Plankton does this to stop her from laughing at his Embarrassing First Name.
  • Mama Bear: Is extremely protective of her son, Chip, to the point of destroying an arcade machine just to stop him from being harmed by the in-game enemies and outright forcing Plankton to search for him after the latter drives him away.
  • No Name Given: In the first two seasons, because she's treated as Plankton's supercomputer, she wasn't given a name. It wouldn't be until the Season 3 premiere, "The Algae's Always Greener", that she would be established as Plankton's computer wife and be given the name Karen.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Her full name is Karen Plankton, but she's a computer, not a plankton.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Karen is the only one who is regularly drawn with wavy-lined borders instead of clean lines. This is because backgrounds and items in the show are normally drawn with wavy borders while characters aren't.
  • Only Sane Woman: Typically one to call Plankton out on his obsessive schemes, more so currently.
  • Pet the Dog: She is a computer but nevertheless has a very strong love for Plankton deep down.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Played with. She supposedly has no heart but still feels a wide range of emotions. However, she still has some limitations such as being unable to eat (though she is turned into a Krabby Patty zombie in "Krabby Patty Creature Feature" when she is force-fed bits of the Krabby Patty zombies by having them stuffed into her disc drive).
  • Robotic Spouse: Yes and no. Yes, Karen is a robot and she married her creator. But no, Plankton did not create her just to marry her. She was originally just the security system for the business he and Mr. Krabs ran together, before they began dating naturally. Their romance even began before Plankton became evil, and Karen was so faithful to him that she became evil as well.
  • Satellite Character: In the first few seasons, she usually only interacted with Plankton and whoever else came into the Chum Bucket. Justified, since she was an immobile computer who was permanently stationed in the Chum Bucket. As the show progressed, Karen gained mobility and relationships with other characters than Plankton.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Averted, since she wasn't written as Plankton's wife until Season 3 and is actually a formidable villain rather than just a love interest, having come up with almost all of Plankton's schemes herself.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: She plays crucial roles in the first two movies (authoring and telling Plankton about "Plan Z" in the first, powering the time machine in the second) but did not have much screen time in the trailers for them. However, she was featured in the associated merchandise, such as the Mega Bloks time machine playset for the 2015 movie.
  • Snarky Inanimate Object: She's a robot and is pretty snarky in the later episodes.
  • Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: She's a robot who aids Plankton in his plans and is prone to making snide remarks towards him.
  • Talking Weapon: She has robotic abilities like lasers and death rays that make her a talking, walking weapon sometimes.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The huge girl to Plankton's tiny guy, since she's a large computer and he's a tiny crustacean.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: She inexplicably becomes far more cold-hearted than usual in the first movie.
  • Tuckerization: Named after Stephen Hillenburg's wife.
  • TV Head Robot: Early seasons depict her as a giant computer screen built into Plankton's lab, but later seasons gave her a mobile form that's effectively a CRT television on a thin pole attached to a base with wheels, occasionally with robotic arms.
  • Virtual Sidekick: She fills a sidekick role to her husband.
  • Women Are Wiser: She is much more clever and competent than her husband Plankton.

    Mrs. Puff 

Penelope Puff

Voiced by: Mary Jo Catlett (English)additional VAs

Debut: "Boating School"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spongebob_mrspuff.jpg
"In all my years of teaching, only one student has ever failed my class."

"With the opening of my new Boating School, I pledge that as long as a student is willing to learn, I shall never give up!"

SpongeBob's patient but paranoid teacher at boating school. She would like nothing more than to pass SpongeBob since he is an obsessively good student, but he routinely freaks out and crashes whenever he has to get inside a boat. She is a pufferfish who blows up into a ball whenever she is scared or stressed out.


  • Alliterative Name: Penelope Puff.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Zigzagged, Depending on the Writer. Though it's mostly her attitude towards SpongeBob since no matter what she does, she can't seem to get him to pass the driving portion of her test and out of her hair for good. His over-eagerness certainly doesn't help, neither does continually landing her in jail either.
  • Ax-Crazy: In "Demolition Doofus" when she becomes obsessed with attempting to get SpongeBob killed in a demolition match, and tries to kill him herself when that fails.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Her size comes with a noted appetite for pasta and cake, but she handily attracts Mr. Krabs, and SpongeBob's mother has to talk loudly to pull her husband's attention off of her.
  • Big Eater: She's shown to have a big appetite. See Obsessed with Food below.
  • Butt-Monkey: As a result of SpongeBob's antics, she's frequently injured or sent to jail.
  • Commonality Connection: When Squidward has to attend her classes, they bond over the fact that SpongeBob is the bane of both their existences.
  • Cool Old Lady: She is surprisingly active for an elderly teacher and even has an expansive criminal record.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • According to at least one monologue, she has previously skipped town under a different name.
    • Her husband was apparently fished up out of the sea and made into a lamp.
  • Deadpan Snarker: SpongeBob's annoyance and idiocy often causes Mrs. Puff to make snide remarks.
  • December–December Romance: She and Mr. Krabs are close to being senior citizens and have each been married before, but that doesn't stop them from falling in love and continuing to date (for nearly two decades, as revealed in Whirly Brains).
  • Depending on the Writer: How she feels about Spongebob varies from episode to episode. Some episodes have her genuinely like him as a student, despite his poor boating skills. Most episodes have her weary of having him as a student, but she doesn't truly hold anything against him. And some episodes, especially those in Season 8 and beyond, have her outright hating him.
  • Determinator: Amazingly, she has made it her goal never to give up on SpongeBob, no matter how many times he fails.
  • Didn't Think This Through: She falls victim to this in the episode "No Free Rides". Sick and tired of having to go through SpongeBob's chaotic driving tests, she comes up with a bogus extra credit test to just give him his driver's license and get him out of her classroom. It's only after she does so that it hits her that she has just given SpongeBob free reign to drive on public streets and wreak havoc there.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference:
    • She had many more wrinkles in her first appearance.
    • "Boating School" had her puff up a little whenever she inhaled. Now, she only puffs when she is surprised or injured.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see her, she is at her school watching SpongeBob dance around and says "I'm not ready..."
  • Evil Cripple: In "Demolition Doofus", Mrs. Puff loses her ability to puff and develops the desire to kill SpongeBob.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: No matter how many times she tries to get rid of SpongeBob (or get him in trouble legally), SpongeBob will always come out on top, leaving her stuck with him, or at worst, end up in jail.
  • Fat and Proud: Her size is a trait of her species, so she's not insecure about it.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Mrs. Puff has blonde hair and is rather kind-hearted, so long as your name isn't SpongeBob.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her husband was captured by fishermen and made into a lamp, she was forced to legally change her name, and on top of all of that, has to teach SpongeBob how to drive, which, at least by what is shown so far, is virtually impossible. She's had to deal with the maverick's hasty driving skills 1,258,058 times, so it's understandable why she frequently loses her patience with SpongeBob, sometimes to the point of threatening or wishing death upon him.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: A rare female example. She doesn't wear any underwear. This, however, was later subverted since she was shown to wear underwear in the episode Oral Report when SpongeBob imagines people in their underwear.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Compared to the already hostile and mean-tempered Squidward, Mrs. Puff is a docile and well-meaning character whose nerves have slowly been worn at by SpongeBob's behavior. Many episodes have shown her take increasingly desperate and sometimes unscrupulous measures just to finally get away from him. She's at her lowest point in "Demolition Doofus", where she's so furious at SpongeBob for accidentally puncturing her inflation sac that she outright tries to murder him.
  • Heavy Voice: In her earliest appearances, she gets a deeper voice whenever she puffs up.
  • Idiot Ball: Despite being one of the few characters on the show with any common sense (aside from Squidward and Sandy), she holds this in "The Bully" when she fails to take action against an obvious bully who has joined her class and plans to harm one of her students, instead viewing him as a nice guy.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Sandy and Pearl in a few episodes, and also with SpongeBob in very early episodes, since she's considerably older than them.
  • Interspecies Romance: Her relationship with Mr. Krabs qualifies, since she's a blowfish and he's a crab.
  • It's All My Fault: In early episodes, she thinks SpongeBob's inability to drive is at least partially her fault.
  • Jerkass Ball: She's usually always hostile towards SpongeBob, but sometimes her grudge against him can go way too far, such as when she threatened to kick his butt at the end of "The Bully" over something he didn't do, and of course, going as far as trying to get him murdered in "Demolition Doofus". It's aggravated by the fact that she's supposed to be an authority figure.
  • Jerkass to One: SpongeBob is typically the only person whom Mrs. Puff holds a grudge against. Aside from him, she's usually outgoing and friendly to everyone. Plus, it isn't hard to see why she's hostile towards him, considering the amount of times he has endangered her with his reckless driving and gotten her arrested.
  • Knight of Cerebus: She briefly becomes one in the Season 8 episode "Demolition Doofus". She enters SpongeBob into a demolition derby and hopes that he dies (since his crazy driving previously caused her to puncture her inflation sac). She later tries to kill him herself by entering into the demolition derby using a massive monster truck. This episode is considered one of the darkest stories by many fans.
  • Leitmotif: The production music Horlepiep is often associated with her, particularly when she is teaching her class.
  • Made of Iron: SpongeBob has caused this poor woman to get injured many times in fatal car crashes, but she seems to return to normal in a few episodes. It's only on "Demolition Doofus" that this trope was subverted with her losing her ability to puff and played straight at the end of the episode when she regains her ability to puff.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name refers to both her species and her tendency to puff up like a ball.
  • Misplaced Retribution: She is always blamed and put in jail for SpongeBob's recklessness despite educating him right, with SpongeBob going completely scot-free every time.
  • Naked People Are Funny: "Feral Friends" has her and Pearl become the first female characters shown naked on the show in the series' history. When she and Mr. Krabs return to normal two hours after being transformed into non-anthropomorphic sea life by Neptune's Moon, they bashfully giggle at seeing each other nude and promptly run off in embarrassment.
  • Nervous Wreck: She's very neurotic, although it's usually justified.
  • Never Bareheaded: Whenever she's not seen wearing her trademark sailor's cap, she usually wears hair curlers to bed.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She is around Mr. Krabs' age (early 70s) but has a dark side and commits many crimes.
  • Never My Fault: True, SpongeBob is the reason why she's so grouchy and getting constantly injured, but she forgets the fact that she's not obligated to keep SpongeBob as a student and she can simply expel him if she's tired of him failing her classes. While her suffering isn't her fault, she is unintentionally playing a role in prolonging it due to her never thinking of expelling SpongeBob from her boating school. Her claim that SpongeBob was the only student who has ever failed her boating school implies that she's only keeping him enrolled in the hopes that she eventually gets her record spotless again.
  • Nice Girl: Mrs. Puff seems friendly to everybody. It's only SpongeBob who she can't seem to stand.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Is in a committed 16-year relationship with Mr. Krabs.
  • Non-Giving-Up School Guy: She is relentlessly determined to continue teaching SpongeBob.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: She's a fish who has short blonde hair.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: From Squidward. They both agree that SpongeBob is the bane of their existences.
  • Obsessed with Food: She loves pasta, chocolate cake, and Krabby Patties. Her love of food seemed to be a running gag in early episodes.
  • Official Couple: With Mr. Krabs. As of "Whirly Brains", they have been dating for sixteen years in canon. However, this is shockingly debunked in prior episodes (e.g. "Growth Spout", "Summer Job"), where she doesn't even seen to recognize him. This being SpongeBob, continuity errors are natural, and their relationship seems to be consistent from the former episode onwards, courtesy of the series becoming more continuity-driven.
  • Older Than They Look: Like Mr. Krabs, she looks a bit younger than her true age, although she does have wrinkles on her face in up-close shots.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In the infamous "Demolition Doofus", she is driven insane after one of SpongeBob's accidents causes her to deflate. She actually tries to get SpongeBob killed in a demolition derby. Thankfully, she was turned back to normal at the end.
  • Only One Name: Until Season 13, she was only ever called "Mrs. Puff" in the series proper. Merchandise such as books and the video game Yellow Avenger stated that her first name is Poppy. Eventually, the Season 13 episode "Yellow Pavement" revealed that her first name is "Penelope".
  • Only Sane Woman: She often fills the role of being the only reasonable person when an episode only stars her and SpongeBob.
  • Parental Substitute: She tries her best to be motherly with SpongeBob.
  • Person as Verb: "Puff" has been used as an adjective by other characters when talking about her. It's not very clear whether or not it's referring to her name, the actual verb, or both.
  • Principles Zealot: In "Doing Time," she has a flashback to the unfortunate day that she met SpongeBob. She's just opening her new boating school and gives her word that she will accept ANY student and never give up on them. Cue SpongeBob's arrival. The entire plot of "Demolition Doofus" revolves around Mrs Puff's increasingly blatant desire and attempts to get SpongeBob killed in a destruction derby accident; she would sooner commit murder than go back on her word and just kick him out of the school.
  • Rage Breaking Point: SpongeBob possibly deflating her permanently in Demolition Doofus seemed to be this, with her somewhat calming down at the end when she was able to puff again.
  • Riddle for the Ages: What, exactly, did she do that made her abandon her old life and assume the name Mrs. Puff? We'll never know.
    Mrs. Puff: I'll have to move to a new city! Start a new boating school, with a new name...no. Not again.
  • Running Gag: Many episodes ended with her going to jail.
  • Sanity Slippage: She tends to go crazy from having to deal with SpongeBob's antics.
  • Signature Headgear: Almost always wears a blue sailor cap.
  • Slapstick: She is always a victim of SpongeBob's recklessness.
  • Species Surname: Her name is Mrs. Puff and she's a pufferfish.
  • Spell My Name With An S: She is often mistakenly called Ms. Puff by casual fans.
  • Stepford Smiler: It is implied on several occasions that her cheerfulness is just a façade to mask the pain she feels over having to deal with SpongeBob all the time.
  • Temporarily a Villain: In "No Free Rides" and "Demolition Doofus", she acts as an antagonist towards SpongeBob. The former instance is due to her trying to undo her mistake of giving SpongeBob, the show's poster boy for Drives Like Crazy, a driver's license just to get rid of him, while the latter is simply the result of her being sick of having to put up with him.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: She has visible eyelashes to certify her gender.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Pearl's Girly Girl and Girly Girl to Sandy's Tomboy.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: In "Demolition Doofus", she ruptures her inflation sac, with the doctor stating she'll never be able to puff again. Since Status Quo Is God, Mrs. Puff spontaneously regains her ability to puff at the end of the episode.

    Pearl Krabs 

Pearl Krabs

Voiced by: Lori Alan (English)additional VAs

Debut: "Squeaky Boots"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spongebob_pearl.jpg
"As far as disasters go, that was really fun."

"Don't forget my new Flipper Slippers, Daddy!"

Mr. Krabs' beloved teenage daughter, who is a huge sperm whale. Her brain is the largest in Bikini Bottom and she is gifted in math, but she is still young and immature. Her father hopes to pass his restaurant on to her when she grows up.


  • Acrofatic: Justified. She's a whale, so of course she'd be agile for her size.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: In "Whale of a Birthday", Pearl spots a mini seahorse at the mall and expresses immense affection towards it by sitting on it a bit too tightly, much to the seahorse's discomfort.
  • Ambiguously Related: Her biological relationship to Mr. Krabs isn't mentioned. It's unknown if she's adopted or whether she takes after her Missing Mom.
  • And Call Him "George": Being a Genki Girl, she has a lethally affectionate attitude. She hugs SpongeBob in "Bossy Boots" to a point where he asks her to stop squeezing him.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Depending on the Writer, she tends to have a reputation among her peers as the social outcast.
  • Animals Not to Scale: She is a whale who's only twice the size of miniature creatures like starfish and crabs. Some international dubs justify this by claiming she is a baby whale, but she is 16 (mentally, at least).
  • Big Eater: In "Growth Spout" she went through a growth spurt and needed to eat tons of food.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: On a frequent basis, she berates Mr. Krabs and whines whenever he doesn't let her have what she wants.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": She normally wears a dress with a P on the front.
  • Butt-Monkey: She is often mistreated, neglected, and publicly embarrassed by her cheapskate asshole of a father, belittled and betrayed by her friends, and has suffered many breakups. On a side note, her height often makes her subject to klutziness.
  • Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin': In "Bossy Boots", she goes to work for the Krusty Krab during her summer vacation, and makes multiple changes to the restaurant that effectively ruin her father's business. As it turns out, all the changes she made were because she was deliberately trying to get fired, but Krabs simply didn't have the heart to fire his own daughter. So SpongeBob, who was sent to fire her anyway, "pretends" to fire her so she could go and enjoy her summer vacation.
  • Cartoon Whale: A gray whale with a square head. Justified since the creators say she's a sperm whale.
  • Cool Big Sis: She's had more than a few mutually affectionate moments with SpongeBob and often plays the role as a sister figure to him, due to her being a typical teenage girl and him being a naïve and innocent manchild.
  • Crying a River: Pearl cries literal rivers on a regular basis. The Krabs house even has drain plugs on the floors to empty out her tears.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: She's quite the Genki Girl and qualifies as clumsy owing to her gigantic height.
  • Daddy's Girl: Her default status is Mr. Krabs' beloved teenage daughter whom he often babies in an attempt to discourage her conformity to toxic stereotypes. She's becoming less true to this status as the series progresses, however, partly due to her father's overprotective and cheap nature.
  • Damsel in Distress: In "Dunces and Dragons", where Planktonamor kidnaps her and SpongeBob and Patrick have to rescue her.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • While all of the prominent characters have had times to shine every once in a while, "Mall Girl Pearl" exclusively focuses on Pearl as she tries to get a job at the mall.
    • "Whale Watching" centers on both Pearl and Squidward. On the night that Mr. Krabs likes to play poker, he hires Squidward, whom Krabs promised a SpongeBob-free shift, to look after Pearl, who was forbidden from going out that night to hang out with some kids, including a boy she had a crush on. Pearl manages to sneak out, and Squidward follows to where she beaches herself after she breached the surface. Seeing her in trouble, the other kids run away, leaving Squidward to rescue her. After they get home, they decide to have some fun by siccing SpongeBob on the boy that left Pearl beached on the surface.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • In the first three seasons, she and SpongeBob have a very close bond, almost resembling a romantic relationship. Some post-movie episodes disregard all of their previous interactions and don't portray Pearl as an (admitted) friend to him. Of course, SpongeBob is always extremely nice to Pearl, regardless of the season. Despite his undying loyalty to Mr. Krabs, he is even friendlier to Pearl than he is to his boss. This is shown in episodes like "Whale of a Birthday" and "Barnacle Face", where SpongeBob takes Mr. Krabs' belongings to make Pearl happy.
    • Her reputation. She ranges from being an Alpha Bitch in a Girl Posse to The Friend Nobody Likes. Due to the lack of recurring characters and continuity in general, she's also depicted with different friends per appearance.
    • Her relationship with her father. She ranges from genuinely loving him and being on good terms, being displeased with him but still caring about him deep-down, or outright despising him and overpowering his authority. Since she's a stereotypical teenage girl, the variety isn't surprising. It also sort of depends on how her father is treating her.
  • Drama Queen: Pearl cries over insignificant slights and is quite possibly the show's biggest drama magnet. Although, unlike SpongeBob, who exhibits meltdowns over the most mundane of things like running out of ice, Pearl's angsts are reasonable given her age.
  • The Dreaded Pretend Tea-Party: When SpongeBob enters her dream in "Sleepy Time" and sees that she's having a fake tea party, he asks her how to get to Mr. Krabs' dream instead.
  • Fangirl: She is a huge fan of "Mecha Baleen" and "The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy", according to the comic series and the SpongeBob Moves In! app respectively. She's also a huge fan of the boyband Boys Who Cry, whom she wanted so bad to perform at her 16th birthday party (they did).
  • Flanderization: Her brattiness, bad luck, and disrespect for her father got worse by the post-movie seasons.
  • Forced Dance Partner: In "Tango Tangle", SpongeBob is Pearl's dance partner. She's less than enthused about it, particularly because SpongeBob is only there because Mr. Krabs ordered him to be her tango partner.
  • Freudian Excuse: With the way Mr. Krabs treats her, you can understand her attitude.
  • Gender Equals Breed: Her father is a crab and her mother was a whale (according to the official trivia book).
  • Genki Girl: Pearl is quite cheerful. She constantly shouts and eagerly bounces up and down when informing Mr. Krabs about something she wants. The fact that she's a cheerleader tops it all off.
  • Giant's Droplet, Human's Shower: She's not a giant, but she's one of the tallest characters, being a while and can easily flood areas with her tears.
  • Girly Girl: She wears a pink dress, is a huge fan of boy bands (especially Boys Who Cry), gossips a lot, likes hanging out at the mall with her girlfriends, and in general possesses a lot stereotypical Valley Girl and Phoneaholic Teenager traits. Downplayed in that this is all just Pearl trying desperately to fit in with the social norm.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: She's a fan of "Mecha Baleen" (the Bikini Bottom equivalent to Cyborg) and "The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy" (though she obviously wouldn't want her friends to know that).
  • Give Geeks a Chance: In "The Chaperone", her boyfriend was a nerdy little baitfish... although she describes him as incredibly "long, tan, and handsome".
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: In "Sleepy Time", she dreams about a tea party with stuffed animals.
  • Gonky Femme: She is a huge girl with inhuman strength and a tendency to cause everything to shake whenever she is crying, jumping or dancing.
  • Gossipy Hens: She gossips quite a lot with her friends.
  • Hidden Depths: Her original character bio reveals that she has the biggest brain in Bikini Bottom and loves math.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Most of the neglect she receives from her cheapskate father is played for comedic effect, as Mr. Krabs' money obsession has been a Played for Laughs plot element since the show's beginning, meaning he doesn't outright hate his daughter, he just doesn't have the time or priorities to show his affection.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Considering she's a whale among little animals like fish and squirrels.
  • I Got Bigger: The entire plot of "Growth Spurt" revolves around Pearl undergoing a growth spurt that not only causes her to outgrow her bed, but also endlessly demand food to fulfill her metabolic hunger. She regresses to her regular size by the end after she eats a Krabby Patty.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: There's often the implication that Pearl only behaves like an average teenage girl in a desperate attempt to fit in with the crowd.
  • Implied Love Interest: Quite a few episodes frame Pearl as this for SpongeBob, in ways that are sometimes more blatant than any Spandy moments.
    • "The Chaperone" is all about SpongeBob taking Pearl to the prom, and the ending shows that they were going to kiss had it not been for Mr. Krabs' interruption.
    • "Bossy Boots" is a major moment as well, since Pearl hugs SpongeBob so hard he has to ask her to stop and later pecks him on the forehead.
    • In the post-movie episode "Tunnel of Glove", the plot involves Pearl and SpongeBob going in a tunnel of love at Glove World, and it starts off with Pearl's fake friends calling SpongeBob her boyfriend. Even though this episode was made after the writers started disregarding Pearl and SB's friendship, the ending implies that Pearl does like SpongeBob but pretends not to when her friends are around.
    • The solution to Pearl's growth spurt in "Growth Spout" is SpongeBob making her a special Krabby Patty with love.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Many episodes focusing on her reputation portray her as a talentless hack who behaves like a rebellious teenage girl in a desperate attempt to fit in.
  • Informed Ability: According to her official character bio, she's the smartest citizen in Bikini Bottom, but there has never been an episode focusing on her intelligence. There have, however, been episodes like "Mall Girl Pearl" that imply she only acts like a regular teenager to fit in.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With SpongeBob, who's an independent adult. This trope is played with as SpongeBob's childish behavior makes it look like Pearl has the power in the dynamic since she's more mature, but since SpongeBob is older than her, it's the other way around.
  • Ironic Name: Pearls are known for being very small, but Pearl is huge.
  • It's All About Me: Has this attitude in "Whale of a Birthday", even saying that everyone in the world has to pay attention to her on her birthday.
  • Jerkass Ball: She holds this in episodes that showcase her as an Alpha Bitch, specifically in the episode "The Slumber Party" when she and her friends make fun of a sponge girl who looks like SpongeBob.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While she tries her best to fit in with her bratty peers, Pearl's "hip, cool" persona is merely a ruse and she wants to be friends with SpongeBob. This is most obvious in the early episode "Bossy Boots", where she tearfully confides in SpongeBob that her new position is too stressful and that she only accepted it to make her father happy- and she thanks SpongeBob with a hug and a kiss when he helps her quit.
  • Large Ham: She has an overdramatic voice, which isn't surprising given her height.
  • Like Brother and Sister: She plays quite a sisterly role to SpongeBob whenever she's not outright hating him.
  • Likes Older Men: Like most girls her age, she fantasizes over men who are at least ten years her senior, if not in the same age range as her.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Some episodes depict her as joining the Girl Posse to fit in and acting rather condescending to the less fortunate. When taking into account the unreasonable amount of neglect she receives at the hands of Mr. Krabs, she still remains sympathetic in that the very hand that feeds and shelters her is too cheap to satisfy her demands despite being rich.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother has never been revealed in the show. The creators state that they're against revealing her identity and strive to keep it a secret throughout the show's run.
  • Naked People Are Funny: "Feral Friends" has her and Mrs. Puff become the first female characters shown naked on the show in the series' history. After everyone returns to normal two hours after being turned into non-anthropomorphic sea creatures by Neptune's Moon, she is shocked to find herself naked in public and runs away in embarrassment while covering herself.
  • No Indoor Voice: All the time, but it's especially emphasized when Mr. Krabs riles her up.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: She's the only one with monocular vision: eyes on the sides of her head rather than in front.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: She's been 16-years-old for decades. Funnily enough, episodes like "Goodbye, Krabby Patty?" and "Whirly Brains" make direct references to how many years have passed since the show started out. Pearl is the only character with a definite age, and it's stayed the same throughout all of these episodes, causing some continuity errors.
  • Ocular Gushers: Due to her enormous height, she cries large puddles of tears, even flooding the Krusty Krab with them at one point.
  • Odd Friendship: In regards to SpongeBob. While their relationship makes sense given the latter is her father's employee, SpongeBob has been identified as an adult numerous times yet has the demeanor of a child, while Pearl is a stereotypical teenage girl.
  • Out of Focus:
    • Out of the original main characters, Pearl has been hit the hardest by this. Pearl's most essential roles are mainly Once a Season, and she doesn't show terribly often compared to other prominent characters. While she still has her own A Day in the Limelight episodes, she has also been increasingly left out of "group" episodes. Luckily, Season 9 and onward try to subvert this by rendering both SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs Out of Focus in her featured episodes.
    • In first pitch bible from 1996, Pearl was the lead female character, not Sandy or Karen. In the show proper, she appears less than the other female characters.
  • Parental Title Characterization: She's an affectionate, but somewhat bratty, Daddy's Girl of a teenager. As a result, she still calls her dad "Daddy".
  • Phoneaholic Teenager: She is frequently seen talking on her cellphone.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Her standard outfit is a pink and purple dress.
  • Prone to Tears: She doesn't cry as often as Spongebob, but she does often bawl about things people her age go through due to being a drama queen. Sometimes she even floods the places she's in.
  • Ribcage Stomach: On the occasions a character ends up inside her stomach, she always invariably has one of these, however large or small it needs to be for comedy.
  • Small Parent, Huge Child: Mr. Krabs's massive teenage whale daughter. It is unknown whether she is adopted or if she is the result of Krabs having an Interspecies Romance with a whale.
  • Spoiled Sweet: She's got daddy wrapped around her little fin and is quite used to getting her way, but is almost always cheerful and good-natured.
  • Teens Love Shopping: Pearl and her girlfriends like to shop at the mall.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Bratty Teenage Daughter to Sandy's karate chopping techno whiz Tomboy.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: She becomes more spoiled and rude in later episodes.
  • Valley Girl: Borderline case of a girl who cares more about being stylish than anything else.
  • Vocal Evolution: In the first three seasons, Pearl’s voice sounded different than what it sounds like now.
  • Your Size May Vary: Typically only twice the size of the other characters, above water she can be as big as whales usually are (as shown in "Whale Watching").

    Gary the Snail 

Garold Wilson Jr.

English voice: Tom Kenny (English), Dee Bradley Baker (English, dream self voice in "Sleepy Time"), Keith David (English, translator voice in "Chatterbox Gary")additional VAs

Debut: "Help Wanted"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/spongebob_gary.jpg
"Meow."

"Did you think my shell was full of hot air?"
Dream!Gary

SpongeBob's pet snail, who meows like a cat.


  • Advertised Extra: Despite his prominence in advertising, most of his appearances boil down to minor gags with actual Gary-centric episodes being very rare.
  • Affectionate Nickname: He calls SpongeBob "PapaBob" in "Chatterbox Gary" when he gets a translator for his meows. SpongeBob also calls him "Gare Bear" quite often.
  • Animal Jingoism: In "Pets or Pests", he develops a mutual hatred for a worm SpongeBob takes in, since worms in this show are the undersea equivalent of dogs.
  • Apathetic Pet: Depending on the Writer. Certain episodes portray him as not particularly concerned about his owner SpongeBob and only really being able to enjoy himself when he is away. Subverted in "Gary's New Toy", where Gary initially cares more about his new ball than SpongeBob and just continues playing with it and watching TV after SpongeBob says he is going to leave forever, only to want SpongeBob back when he realizes that his actions drove him away and he really is gone.
  • Archnemesis:
  • Ascended Extra: Gary wasn't officially part of the main cast until the show's second season. He was absent from the 1999 main cast sheet and was added to the updated main cast sheet for season two, from 2000.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't you DARE bring a worm into the house; this'll set off his Animal Jingoism prompting him to brawl them into being shooed out.
    • Do NOT check his undercarriage. You'll be lucky if he just gives you a warning by hissing at you.
  • Big Eater: He eats the entire year supply of snail food SpongeBob left for him in "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?" as well as a lot of cookies in "Have You Seen This Snail?"
  • Butt-Monkey: He's abused mercilessly in a few episodes of the later seasons like "A Pal For Gary", "The Cent of Money" and "Pet Sitter Pat".
  • Cats Are Mean: Under the show's theory of snails existing as an underwater equivalent for cats. Subverted for the most part, though he has his occasional Jerkass moments like most of the cast: "Dumped" shows he can be a rather fickle bastard.
  • Cats Hate Water: Being the equivalent thereof, he's not a fan, even though technically he lives underwater.
  • Character Catchphrase: "Meow."
  • Character Development:
    • Started off as a gag character whose sole purpose was to exhibit snails as an underwater equivalent to cats. Although his vocabulary is still limited to "meow", he arguably has much more of a personality nowadays than he did in the earlier seasons.
    • As seen in the first pitch bible, Gary wasn't even included in the character list, or on the drawing of the main cast together; he was only drawn as a small prop in SpongeBob's room. He has developed into a main character with a personality all his own.
  • Connected All Along: "Rule of Dumb" reveals he and Patrick are first cousins.
  • Depending on the Artist: What it looks like under his shell depends on the episode. He can either just have a smooth surface so he resembles a slug without his shell on, a large butt (sometimes with underwear), or cartoony organs.
  • Does Not Like Spam: The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water reveals that he hates mayonnaise.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: He has a complete hostility toward Plankton, and can even tell if he's around and attacks him in return. He also does this to Squidward when he witnesses him playing a mean trick on SpongeBob.
  • Eye on a Stalk: As to be expected for a snail. Gary's eyestalks have proven quite useful in a few episodes, most notably in "Jellyfish Jam", where he clicks his eyes together and creates a musical beat to distract an angry jellyfish swarm.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: If SpongeBob addresses him as "Gary the Snail" or "Gary Wilson Jr.", he means serious business.
  • Furry Confusion: Although there are no anthropomorphic snails, some snails can talk, although they remain unable to talk to anthropomorphic characters.
  • Hate at First Sight: Towards Squidward during their introduction together in "I Was A Teenage Gary." The feeling was mutual on Squidward’s behalf, since he’s allergic to snails and his initial reaction towards the former. Squidward not feeding him over the weekend probably didn't help...
  • Hates Baths: As seen in "Gary Takes a Bath" and "Pet Sitter Pat", he doesn't like taking baths. This phobia is based on how felines are opposed to water.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: He often seems smarter than his owner.
  • Intellectual Animal: In the episode "Sleepy Time", he is revealed to be quite intelligent through his dream self.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: SpongeBob and some of the other characters can understand Gary even though he only meows.
    Mr. Krabs: SpongeBob, what's wrong with you?
    Gary: Meow!
    Mr. Krabs: The Suds?!
  • Jerkass Ball: In "Dumped", where he decides to stay with Patrick (who himself also grasps the Jerkass Ball in this episode) despite SpongeBob blatantly showing his depression over being separated from him. Subverted however, as he's only interested in the cookie in Patrick's pocket.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gary comes across as gluttonous and can be occasionally selfish and uninterested in some of the things SpongeBob wants to do. However, he is a very gentle snail who loves SpongeBob very dearly.
  • Killer Rabbit: He's mostly a sweet snail, but he has his dark side; he rebels and leads a revolution with other snails and worms against a pet show in "Grooming Gary" due to SpongeBob abusing him just to score a win, and admits through a translator that he fantasizes about raining fiery vengeance down on those who've wronged him in "Chatterbox Gary".
  • Lactating Male: Implied in "New Digs", where a transition happens and SpongeBob is suddenly holding a glass of milk, which he calls "a glass of warm snail milk". The trope was originally intended to be played straight, with SpongeBob actually shown milking Gary, but the scene ultimately didn't make it into the episode because of the dirty implications.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: "Rule of Dumb" reveals him and Patrick to be cousins.
  • Nearly Normal Animal: While he mostly functions as an ordinary pet, he does occasionally exhibit some human mannerisms or gestures, such as drinking from a glass, and he seems to think on a sapient level. His meows are intelligible to most who interact with him.
  • Odd Name Out: His full name has nothing to do with his species, unlike most of the other characters.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He's never called by his real name, "Garold".
  • Only Sane Man: Despite being a pet, Gary fills the role of the only reasonable and rational person the vast majority of the time. He's also pretty much the only one on Conch Street who actually despises Squidward.
  • Out of Focus: Due to first and foremost being SpongeBob's pet, his actual role in the series is, to put it lightly, fairly small. While some of the other characters have frequent A Day in the Limelight episodes, Gary-centric episodes are outright rare. He usually makes a brief cameo or shows up in a small gag at most.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: He's a cute little snail.
  • Secret Test: In the episode "Treats!" Gary pesters SpongeBob to get him a box of discontinued treats, and spends the episode in vain searching for the snacks. When SpongeBob takes Patrick's advice, and tells Gary "no" they will not keep searching, Gary goes to bed happy to know that SpongeBob learned to say "no."
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Embodies gluttony. Besides being a housepet who loves to eat more than anything, Gary is often seen partaking in several self-indulgent activities, such as watching TV or reading books, regardless of whenever there's something else more pertinent.
  • Silent Snarker: Often non-verbally expresses his disdain for his owner's idiocy.
  • Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: Despite all of them being sea creatures and all (except for some one-offs, Mermaid Man, and Barnacle Boy). Even if the audience will never be able to figure out what he's saying, SpongeBob's retorts to whatever he says show that he is rather snarky.
  • Sudden Anatomy: His mouth tends to appear and disappear, he can grow limbs when needed, and the appearance of his body without a shell (as well as the inside of his shell) changes throughout the show.
  • Token Good Teammate: One of the few characters who is not a Jerkass, an antagonist, or a moron (although he can be fickle at times).
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • If him rescuing SpongeBob from Puffy Fluffy after the sponge treated him like crap doesn't qualify for how unwilling he is to turn against SpongeBob, nothing does.
    • In "Suds", SpongeBob curtly dismisses Gary's insistence that he stay home from work. Despite this, Gary seemingly follows SpongeBob to work just to tell his boss that he's ill.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: While not a weapon, his status as a bottom feeder allows him to easily clean up an infectious fungus which would otherwise make the infected disgustingly sick.

Alternative Title(s): Sponge Bob Square Pants Patrick Star, Sponge Bob Square Pants Sheldon Plankton

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