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Squidward Q. Tentacles

Voiced by: Rodger Bumpass (English), Jason Maybaum (English, young, Sponge on the Run)additional VAs 

Debut: "Help Wanted"

"I always thought the most important rule was 'Why do today what you can put off 'til tomorrow'."
"How did I ever get surrounded by such loser neighbors?"

A cranky and sophisticated octopus who despises SpongeBob and Patrick for their annoyingly cheerful attitudes and stupidity. He is SpongeBob's next-door neighbor and works as a cashier at the Krusty Krab. His hobbies include playing the clarinet and painting self-portraits.

For the self-demonstrating page, click here.

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  • Abusive Parents: Along with Abusive Grandparents.
    • Squidward's mother was verbally abusive towards her own son in "Fools in April", where she screamed "YOU STINK!" at Squidward and famously supported Sandy's Your Mom joke in "Sportz?" by saying "[Mrs. Tentacles] doesn't want to hear it."
    • In "Chum Fricassee", after finding out he's been using her chum recipe wrong by taking shortcuts, Squidward's grandmother attacks him by hitting his foot with her walker frequently, exposes him in front of the customers and encourages them to wreck the place. It seems even Squidward's own family looks down on the poor guy.
  • Accidental Truth: In "Funny Pants", after getting annoyed by SpongeBob's non-stop laughing to a joke, Squidward tells him that if he doesn't give it a break, he'll blow out his "laugh box" and never be able to laugh again. In the end, he reveals the trick to SpongeBob and laughs over it, finding out the hard way that laugh boxes are real.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Hated, avoided, mistreated, and sometimes even assaulted by people in Bikini Bottom, granted, many times because he started it, but other times simply because they feel gravitated to.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: There's no real reason why he's actually blue, since although some squids and octopi look blue, but that's largely because of water tint. It is averted in "Reef Blower", where he turns purple above (well, without) water, but all other times he's been above water, he's still appears to be the same shade of blue.
  • Animals Hate Him: At times. SpongeBob even implies in "The Thing" that Gary actually attacks him. In "The Camping Episode", he's repeatedly and savagely attacked by a sea bear. The first few times he'd done inadvertently to set it off, but the last time SpongeBob, who is quite knowledgeable about them, states he doesn't know why it attacked him. He claims that the sea bear might just not like him, to which Patrick suggests he be somebody else.
  • Anti-Hero: At best. He's rather cranky, sarcastic, and hates most people around him, but his Pet the Dog moments show that he's a good person deep down.
  • Anti-Villain: Depending on the Writer. Sometimes he's supposed to be an antagonist just because he hates the main character, even if it's SpongeBob who keeps bothering him all the time (unintentionally).
  • Apathetic Clerk: He loathes his cashier job at the Krusty Krab and often treats the customers with contempt.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In "Giant Squidward", Squidward is enlarged in height as a result of SpongeBob and Patrick's overuse of a growth spray, eventually leading him to reluctantly become a helpful Gentle Giant to the rest of the town before getting fed up with their exploitation.
  • Attention Whore: When he's not keeping to himself, he's going around demanding people's attention by displaying interpretive dancing or playing his clarinet really loudly.
  • Asshole Victim: Depending on the Writer - as sometimes he's a miserable Cosmic Plaything who's just minding his own business - if Squidward meets his own end or suffers a horrific punishment, he usually deserves it for being an unreasonable dick to everyone. His status as this trope reaches an all-time high at the end of "Sportz?", where he is cooked into calamari for trying to kill SpongeBob and Patrick with an injury-filled sports game he made up.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Played With in "Little Yellow Book"; he does face the punishment of having tomatoes thrown at him by the townspeople while being held captive by the law enforcement, but he doesn't care because he thought it was totally Worth It reading SpongeBob's personal diary and making him cry.
  • Bald of Evil: During his absolute meanest moments, he certainly qualifies as this.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: He's an octopus who's one of the few characters with prominent feet (besides SpongeBob and Sandy) but rarely wears any kind of footwear.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: According to SpongeBob and Patrick (in the comic "Dear Diary" in Patrick's case), he has an appealing design.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He acts protective toward SpongeBob occasionally, in episodes like "Dying for Pie" and "Christmas Who?"
    • A more subtle example: in "Graveyard Shift", when it appears that he and SpongeBob are about to be murdered by the "Hash-Slinging Slasher", Squidward's first instinct is to pick up SpongeBob and hug him close, as if making some futile attempt to protect him.
    • A really twisted example from the episode "Hooky". He schemes with Mr. Krabs to humiliate SpongeBob into never going near the hooks again. Harsh? Yes. Possibly life-saving? Also yes.
    • In "Pizza Delivery", he violently KO's a customer with a pizza because said customer made SpongeBob cry.
    • An often overlooked example in the episode above, he unhesitatingly saves SpongeBob from getting hit by a truck.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The Thin to Patrick or Mr. Krabs' Big and SpongeBob's Short.
  • Body Horror: His fate at the end of "SquidBob TentaclePants".
  • Born Unlucky: Nothing ever goes right for him; he is injured, humiliated and/or driven insane almost every episode.
  • Boss's Unfavorite Employee: Mr. Krabs and Squidward usually have a far more adversarial relationship than Mr. Krabs does with SpongeBob; depending on the episode, this is either because Squidward is openly lazy and insubordinate, or because Mr. Krabs is unreasonably demanding. In episodes where Mr. Krabs mistreats both of his workers, SpongeBob takes it in stride while Squidward revolts.
  • Break the Haughty: Often receives comeuppance for being pretentious and arrogant. The most subtle example must be the episode "Squidville", in which Squidward tries moving to a town of inhabitants who are just like him...only to end up so bored that he flips out. Naturally, the town haughtily expels him. Or rather he expels himself with a reef blower.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy:
    • It is implied that Squidward would have genuine talent if he wasn't completely sapped of any passion. In "A Breath Of Fresh Squidward" an electric shock alters Squidward's brain and makes him as devoted and high spirited an employee as SpongeBob, and actually ruins SpongeBob's Employee of the Month winning streak. And in Employee of the Month, when competing against SpongeBob, he makes numerous Krabby Patties that, based off the reactions of passing fish, were on par with SpongeBob's. Similarly, Squidward often goes from a hack to a somewhat plausible musician when in a satisfactory mood.
    • It's shown that he has a decent talent in different art styles, and he could make a name for himself with these if it weren't for the fact that they're all of him.
    • He has unusual skills, like being a surprisingly good construction worker. In one episode he rebuilds SpongeBob's entire house. In another he remodels the Krusty Krab to make it look like a fancy restaurant using only scraps of the Chum Bucket and makes it look exceptional.
  • Brutal Honesty: Squidward is the quickest to tell SpongeBob and Patrick what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear.
  • The Bully: Whenever he's not simply making sarcastic and uncalled-for remarks to SpongeBob, he sometimes goes out of his way to bully him, even when SpongeBob is minding his own business and has done nothing wrong. Special mentions of this attitude go to "Fools in April", "Grandma's Kisses", "Christmas Who?", "The Splinter", "Little Yellow Book", "Sportz?", and "Patty Hype".
  • Bully Hunter: He can be a bully himself sometimes, but on his better days, he can be this to SpongeBob. In "Pizza Delivery", after SpongeBob is cruelly insulted by an Unsatisfiable Customer because his pizza didn't come with a drink, he immediately confronts the customer and decks him with the pizza box.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • In "The Camping Episode", Squidward does all the things that SpongeBob and Patrick told him not to do to attract a sea bear. The sea bear arrives. It does not end well for Squidward.
    • In "Big Sister Sam", he repeatedly insults and provokes Sam, Patrick's brutish older sister who also happens to possess a Hair-Trigger Temper and the strength to dismantle both Squidward and SpongeBob's houses by herself. Considering all that and Squidward's own Butt-Monkey status, it ends about as well as you'd expect.
  • Burger Fool: He hates working at the Krusty Krab with a passion and is often shown to relish the idea of being fired. It reaches the point where, in "Squidward's Sick Daze," he has a full-fledged nightmare about the job, which drives him to attempt Playing Sick so he can get out of it.
  • Butt-Monkey: And a very recognizable one at that. Whether it's being pestered by his annoying neighbors, exploited by his greedy boss, inability to fulfill his passions and enjoy his hobbies, facing the scorn of the populous, or getting the butt end of the Amusing Injuries stick, the world just seems to have it out for Squidward.
  • Byronic Hero: Squidward is a melancholic loser who suffered a miserable childhood and is incredibly self-absorbed. This alone cements him as a sympathetic character.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Well, he can tell a joke, but his monotonous deadpan tone makes it so he can't sell a joke.
  • Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them:
    • In "Squidville", towards SpongeBob and Patrick. He initially moves out of town into an all-octopi gated community, but after realizing how tiresome his repetitive routine is getting, ultimately decided that living next door to his moronic neighbors was better.
    • While he never ceases to complain about how much SpongeBob and Patrick bother him, he's also quick to take offense when it looks like they don't want him to join the fun. In "The Camping Episode" and "Club SpongeBob," he forces his way into their activities (with disastrous consequences) because he assumes they're trying to show him up.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: When asked to clean out the grease trap by Mr. Krabs in "Greasy Buffoons", Squidward simply vanishes into the background and leaves nothing but a faint outline of his body. Justified in that he's an octopus, which actually do have that ability.
  • Character Catch Phrase:
    • "I can't believe I'm saying this/never thought I'd say this, but..."
    • "Oh puh-lease!"
    • "Whatever."
    • His little tune of "La da dee, la da do, la da dum" in the post-movie seasons, typically performed when he takes a shower.
  • The Chew Toy: His abuse is usually Played for Laughs.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To SpongeBob and Patrick. He'll zip their ignorant mouths shut before they can speak.
  • The Comically Serious: Having a rather serious person in the wonderfully wacky world of this show can be funny.
  • Comic Trio: The Only Sane Man to SpongeBob's The Leader and Patrick's The Fool. He also serves this role in the Krusty Krew with Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob.
  • Companion Cube: His clarinet, especially in early episodes. He named it "Clarry", and even sleeps with it in his bed.
  • Cosmic Plaything: The whole universe seems to be against Squidward, as there are many episodes dedicated to making him suffer in various ways.
  • Cranky Neighbor: Justified, living next-door to a guy who won't leave you alone can drive a man to becoming grouchy, irritable, and having nothing but contempt for your neighbor.
  • Creative Sterility: Despite his fondness for high art, one of his persistent flaws is his utter disdain towards the actual creativity and imagination that SpongeBob displays. He's arrogant, pessimistic, and wrapped up in his own maturity, and so most of his artistic endeavors end up being either joyless and incompetent recreations of what he sees as refined culture, or narcissistic tributes to his own ego (his most common artistic subject by far is self-portraits). Ironically, whenever Squidward does manage to lower himself to SpongeBob's level, he tends to be far more visibly passionate and enjoying himself—though even then, he most commonly ends up copying whatever SpongeBob was doing.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's prone to being scathingly sarcastic, mostly towards SpongeBob and Patrick.
  • Death Seeker: This is usually played for laughs. There are moments when Squidward will become so tired of the stupidity of other characters that he wishes for some courses of actions to kill him, as shown in "Band Geeks" and "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV".
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • He can vary between being a sympathetic Chew Toy to an outright jerk, the latter being his prominent characterization in the pre-movie seasons.
    • His skills as a musician also vary. At times, he's actually quite good at playing the clarinet, while at others, his music is so horrible that it's been compared to a dying animal.
    • How well he can cook Krabby Patties varies, as there's a number of episodes where he ends up manning the grill. Most often (mainly if there's a joke to be made about it), he's a Lethal Chef, but some episodes, such as "Bubble Buddy" or "Employee of the Month", suggest that he's at the very least competent.
    • His feelings toward SpongeBob and Patrick. Depending on the episode, he can be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who actually cares about them deep down, or a sadistic Jerk with a Heart of Jerk who thrives on any pain and embarrassment they suffer, sometimes to the point of actually wanting them dead.
    • In some episodes, he's depicted as a Starving Artist who can barely make ends meet. In others, he's depicted as more well-off than SpongeBob (and far more than Patrick), owning an expensive purebred snail and subscribing to "Fancy Living Digest" (though at least in those cases, he's most likely trying to transcend his middling status by splurging and putting on airs).
  • Deuteragonist: Since he's SpongeBob's main foil on the show, he tends to have more plots devoted from his own perspective and thoughts.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In "Good Neighbors", Squidward, after putting up with SpongeBob and Patrick's stupidity and antics for most of the episode when he just wants to enjoy his Sunday, installs a security system to keep them out for good, only for Sponge and Pat to just walk in right after he installs it in an attempt to give him an apology cake; Squidward failed to consider that just because he considers SpongeBob and Patrick a threat doesn't mean the security system would as well.
    • In "House Fancy", he, in a fit of jealousy after seeing Squilliam's house on the titular Show Within a Show, calls the host of the show to declare that his own house is even fancier. Cue Oh, Crap! when said host decides that he'd like to see Squidward's house for himself.
  • Dirty Coward: When things are looking bad, for him, it’s every fish for himself. Perhaps nowhere is this trait more evident than in "Born to Be Wild", when he sees the same biker gang he's spent the whole episode writing off as one of SpongeBob's flights of fancy heading for the Krusty Krab.
    Squidward: I'll do whatever you want! I'll betray my friends and neighbors! JUST LET ME LIVE!
  • Disappeared Dad: His father seems to have passed away, as his mother lives alone and he mentions that his father loved him very much.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He is the instigator of this trope more than he is the victim:
    • In "Fools in April", he gets irritated with SpongeBob pulling April Fools pranks on people and pulls one of his own on him. Of course, SpongeBob's pranks were playful and completely harmless, like putting one ice cube in a customer's drink when said customer asked for a couple, while Squidward's prank was physically painful and just plain cruel. He realizes this only after the damage is done.
  • The Dog Bites Back: His Once a Season moment where he doesn't end up maimed, in legal trouble or driven insane often involves getting back at SpongeBob and/or Patrick for bothering him.
    • One example is in "Krusty Towers" when after Mr. Krabs turns the restaurant into a luxury hotel, he forces Squidward to cater to Patrick's every whim, citing the "We shall never deny a guest even the most ridiculous request" policy. Squidward then quits his job, checks in as a guest, and milks Mr. Krabs' policy for all its worth.
    • In "Rule of Dumb", when all of Bikini Bottom willing hands over their stuff to "king" Patrick simply because he and and SpongeBob said so, it's Squidward, who just had his house demolished to make way for a Ferris Wheel, who makes everyone realize that Patrick has no real claim to power, and has no right to boss them around and force them to hand over their stuff to him. When SpongeBob tries to convince Squidward to sign a treaty pledging loyalty to Patrick, Squidward responds by shoving it into one of SpongeBob's face crater.
    • In "Gullible Pants", Mr. Krabs leaves SpongeBob in charge as acting manager, and tries to boss Squidward around. Squidward responds by telling SpongeBob a bunch of Krusty Krab "secrets", and makes SpongeBob do all the dirty work. The episode ends with Mr. Krabs washing dishes, a random customer frying the Krabby patties, SpongeBob holding a bunch of customers hostage with his "dance moves", and Squidward napping the day away.
    • The entire plot of "Little Yellow Book", which involves Squidward reading SpongeBob's diary to everyone in Bikini Bottom, was for Squidward to get back at SpongeBob for all the hell he put him through over the past nine seasons. Of course, since SpongeBob had done nothing to hurt him in that particular episode, it does nothing but make Squidward look bad.
  • A Dog Named "Cat": He's not a squid, but an octopus.
  • The Drag-Along: He makes it quite clear that he couldn’t care less about SpongeBob and Patrick, and that he just wants to be left alone at his house. However, there always seem to be certain circumstances that make him go on their adventures anyway.
  • Dreadful Musician: Squidward loves his clarinet. But it doesn't seem to love him. Although in some episodes, he's decent, even actually pretty good. It seems to depend on his mood, with his skill increasing the better he's feeling (compare his playing in after blowing a bubble SpongeBob states he couldn't do and after said bubble engulfs his house, lifts it high into the air, and drops it in "Bubblestand").
  • Dreary Half-Lidded Eyes: His default expression, showing his constant air of annoyance and indifference.
  • Dub Name Change: In a lot of the foreign dubs of the show:
    • Called "Ikardo Tentacles" in Japanese, with "ika" being the Japanese for "squid".
    • The German dub calls him "Thaddäus Tentakel". His friends call him "Thaddel".
    • In Brazil he is called "Lula Molusco".
    • In Spain and Latin América he is called "Calamardo Tentáculos".
    • In Finland he's called "Jalmari Kalmari". His nickname is "Jammu".
    • In Italy he is only known as "Squiddi Tentacolo".
    • In France he is called "Carlo Tentacule".
    • In Estonia he is called "Kalmer".
    • In Sweden he is called "Bläckvard Tentakel".
    • In Czech Republic, he is called "Sépiak Chobotnice", through the magazine calls him "Tadeáš".
    • In the Netherlands he is called Octo Tentakels.

  • The Eeyore: Downplayed in earlier episodes where he still had some hope of success, but his pessimism was played up more in later episodes to a rather depressing degree.
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied: In "Fools in April", he has so much trouble apologizing to SpongeBob for his April Fools prank that trying to do so causes his head to explode.
  • Enemy Mine: Downplayed with SpongeBob. While they're not true enemies, the most notable times when Squidward overlooks his usual resentment for SpongeBob is when he needs SpongeBob's help to deal with an even bigger problem.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: In "My Pretty Seahorse", he says hello to the flowers outside his house at SpongeBob's urging... and they promptly hiss at him and send him screaming back into his house.
  • Enlightened Self-Interest: There are more than a few occasions where Squidward only does good deeds out of self-gain.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: With how stupid SpongeBob and Patrick can be, it's fairly easy to understand his anger at them.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: When he becomes handsome in "The Two Faces of Squidward". One male fish even crashes his boat in a house from distraction, lovestruck by Squidward's new look.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Squidward is a notorious jerk who hates SpongeBob with a passion and enjoys whenever he's in complete misery, though there are moments where even he feels SpongeBob doesn't deserve what happens to him.
    • In "Pizza Delivery", when the customer refuses to accept the pizza because they forgot his drink (which he didn't even ASK for, by the way)note  and furiously chews SpongeBob out to the point where he's driven to tears, Squidward, after trying to comfort SpongeBob, furiously confronts the customer, tells him he can have the pizza "on the house", and slams it into his face.
    • In "Born Again Krabs", when SpongeBob sticks up for Mr. Krabs to protect him from the Flying Dutchman, only for Krabs to sell SpongeBob out to the Dutchman for a mere 62 cents without hesitation, it's Squidward of all people who calls Mr. Krabs out over it.
      Squidward: Mr. Krabs, I can't believe I'm saying this, but how could you trade SpongeBob for 62 CENTS?
      Mr. Krabs: ... you think I could've gotten more?
      Squidward: He stuck up for you, and you sold him out. You should be ashamed of yourself!
    • In a few episodes (such as "Pizza Delivery" and "Kooky Cooks"), it's shown that despite hating SpongeBob, he doesn't hate him enough to want him dead. "Pizza Delivery" sees him going out of his way to save SpongeBob from getting hit by a truck, while "Kooky Cooks" has him immediately rescuing him from getting stuck in an oven before joining Mr. Krabs and Pearl in protecting SpongeBob from being eaten by Mrs. Puff.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: He has rectangular red pupils. Justified as real life octopi have rectangular pupils, only theirs are horizontal while Squidward's are vertical.
  • Expy: Roger Bumpass once described him as being "Mr. Wilson to SpongeBob's Dennis The Menace."
  • Fatal Flaw: It is implied multiple times that the thing truly holding his art career back is that he is a narcissist who must insert himself into the work. In "Suction Cup Symphony", he shows he can compose a song so good it gets a standing ovation and in "Bucket Sweet Bucket", he creates a huge amount of high class decor from reclaimed materials. In contrast, when he tries to make himself a part of it, such as all of his self-portraits and his clarinet playing, the art becomes reviled.
  • Fake Shemp: While Eberhard Prüter (original German voice of Squidward) passed away in 2014 with Joachim Kaps eventually becoming the new voice of Squidward starting in Season 9. Some German exclusive SpongeBob albums (notably the 2020 album Quallendisco XXL-Version and 2022 album Schwammtastisch) decided to use archive audio of Eberhard's Squidward voice for some songs and dialogue.
  • The Finicky One: He'll only tolerate things being done by the book.
  • Flanderization:
    • In many of the newer episodes, his Butt-Monkey status has become flat out Disproportionate Retribution.
    • He's become less grouchy and more openly hostile, sometimes even physically attacking SpongeBob.
    • Internet meme culture has turned Squidward into the archetypal "disgruntled employee," and the show generally bears this out in recent episodes, so it's easy to forget that he has a cordial relationship with Mr. Krabs in the pilot, "Help Wanted," until SpongeBob becomes his coworker as well as his neighbor. The Season 2 episode "Squid's Day Off" implies that his paranoia over SpongeBob messing things up in his absence or stalking him is really his repressed attachment to his job poking through his veneer of indifference. As late as the first movie, Mr. Krabs at first promotes Squidward to manager of the Krusty Krab 2 over SpongeBob due to his experience and maturity (which turns out to be an unwise decision, given Squidward's own lack of interest, but Mr. Krabs would never even consider the Squidward we see in later seasons for the position). At the end of the film, Squidward gratefully hands the job to SpongeBob, but that doesn't stop him from briefly assuming (hoping?) that SpongeBob will change his mind about accepting it.
  • Foil: His intelligence, grumpiness, and pessimism make him just about the closest you can get to an anti-SpongeBob. He also serves as one to Mr. Krabs.
  • Forehead of Doom: Has a large forehead complete with three wrinkle lines, emphasizing his inflated ego.
  • Forgot Flanders Could Do That: Does occasionally get the chance to display some actual musical or other talent. He was, in fact, initially characterized by Plankton as a "mediocre clarinet player", but has usually been shown as an abysmal one. Some episodes seem to imply that his musical talent is dependent on his self-esteem, which isn't good considering he's almost constantly depressed.
  • For the Evulz: While Spongebob has recklessly and/or apathetically caused Squidward mental and physical anguish, he's done a few shitty things to him as well for seemingly no reason other than personal pleasure:
    • Breaking up Spongebob and Patrick's friendship (Naughty Nautical Neighbors)
    • Playing a very mean prank on Spongebob for April Fool's Day (Fools In April)
    • Scaring Spongebob with being sent home over the splinter (The Splinter)
    • Reading Spongebob's diary twice and exposing his secrets (Little Yellow Book)
  • Four-Legged Insect: Or in this case, four legged octopus. He has six limbs in total (two arms and four legs) instead of the standard eight. This was done deliberately to make him easier to animate. His legs also work in pairs, walking with two at a time.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Melancholic. He's ill-tempered, tends to be overly critical, and is insecure at times.
  • Freudian Excuse: He suffered a miserable childhood and lives with neighbors who harass him everyday. You can't really blame him for being such a grouch.
  • Friendship Denial: He denies being SpongeBob's friend due to finding him annoying. Unfortunately for him, SpongeBob can't take a hint.
  • Funny Octopus: Squidward varies from Only Sane Man to Comedic Sociopath between the episodes, being The Comically Serious foil to SpongeBob's wackiness and unstoppable cheer. Also, he's not quite as good at playing the clarinet as he thinks he is.
  • Furry Baldness: While most of the cast lacks hair, Squidward is one of the few who's treated as "bald", and he sometimes uses wigs to compensate. Strangely enough, he briefly grows hair out of the spots on his scalp for the sake of a gag in "Graveyard Shift" and has flowing blonde hair in a flashback in "The Original Fry Cook", so he seems to be more capable of having hair than almost anyone else despite the amount of ridicule he gets.
  • Furry Reminder: As he's actually an octopus, he's perfectly capable of releasing ink if stressed or forced by outside means. It never happened in the first few seasons, but some later episodes like "Krusty Katering" and "Ink Lemonade" depict him doing so.
    • There's also him turning invisible in order to get out of having to clean the grease trap in "Greasy Buffons." This is a common tactic octopi tend to do when either hiding from predators or ambushing prey. With Mr. Krabs trying to force him to clean the grease trap, it's likely the former.
  • Gag Nose: Easily a Trope Codifier of this, his nose is comically bulbous and droopy, giving him a nasally voice. In the episode "Whirly Brains", it's revealed to be even bigger than it actually appears.
  • Giftedly Bad: While he can play the clarinet, or at least it's implied, stress and loss of passion make him terrible at it.
  • Gleeful and Grumpy Pairing: Squidward is the Grumpy to SpongeBob's Gleeful. SpongeBob is cheerful and optimistic, and considers Squidward to be his close friend. Squidward is cynical and near-perpetually grumpy (mostly because of his neighbors annoying him), and hates SpongeBob with a passion.
  • Gonk: At least In-Universe, he's typically seen as ugly. The people he meets tend to react with disgust or even flat out horror at the mere sight of him and his art (paintings and sculptures of himself). The vast majority of close ups of him aren't very easy on the eyes either.
  • Green and Mean: Downplayed on both the "green" and "mean" part since his skin is somewhere in-between the aquamarine and teal range, and his meanness is more out of irritation rather than villainy, though he still does have his moments of the latter on more than a few occasions.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He gets jealous whenever someone else that has artistic talent shows up, especially Squilliam, or even SpongeBob.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Early on, Squidward would be upset by SpongeBob and Patrick playing dumb games with each other. Downplayed later, then brought back again, even worse than before.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Only wears a shirt and no pants. Well, having six legs would make it difficult to wear pants. This is even mocked in "Truth or Square", where during his version of the SpongeBob theme song, he comes out of his house wearing a pair of pants, but then Hans comes in and takes them away; the opposite of him putting SpongeBob's pants on him in the regular intro.
  • Hate at First Sight: To Gary since their introduction towards each other in the episode "I Was A Teenage Gary", due to their respective reactions with negative response. Doesn’t help that Squidward’s allergic to snails and his animosity with Gary is ongoing.
  • Hated by All: Just about everyone in Bikini Bottom dislikes him, with the exceptions of SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy. But sometimes even they get fed up with him (yes, even SpongeBob, a prime example being "Can You Spare A Dime?").
  • Hates Being Touched: Sadly for him and his aversion toward physical contact, SpongeBob loves cuddling.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Squidward has admitted on a few occasions that he hates everyone in Bikini Bottom ("Karate Choppers", "No Hat For Pat", and "SpongeBob's Place"). This stems from the fact that he constantly has to deal with the annoying antics of his neighbors SpongeBob and Patrick, works at a low minimum wage job where his boss is a cheapskate, and is on the receiving end of torment in many, many episodes.
  • Hidden Depths: While he often fails at what he tries as the show's Butt-Monkey, on several occasions, he displays amazing talent and ability when he puts his mind into it. For example, building SpongeBob a new house in mere seconds in one episode shows he has extraordinary potential when he puts his mind to it. Episodes like "Employee of the Month" also demonstrate that Squidward could be on par with Spongebob as an employee if he tried — he simply doesn't want to.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: As much as Spongebob and Patrick tend to spoil his day, Squidward's worst days are very often self-inflicted. "Pizza Delivery" is a prime example: he and Spongebob only get lost because Squidward couldn't be bothered to drive a very short distance, and they don't get back to town sooner because Squidward is convinced he knows better than Spongebob. This brand of laziness and snooty arrogance regularly results in Squidward being the maker of his own misery.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Whenever he gets annoyed with SpongeBob, and Patrick if he's around, he'll come up with a Zany Scheme to make them be quiet and leave him alone, only for SpongeBob, and Patrick, to find some sort of loophole, and end up annoying Squidward even more.
    • In "Naughty Nautical Neighbors", Squidward deliberately ruins SpongeBob and Patrick's friendships. It backfires, and both of them try so hard to be friends with Squidward. Squidward then tries to get them back together.
    • In "Restraining SpongeBob", after SpongeBob finally sends Squidward "up the wall" Squidward gets a restraining order on SpongeBob. However, Squidward's insistence on ignoring SpongeBob and doing the least amount of work possible until he goes home, leads to SpongeBob to bringing in Patrick to relay the food orders, and Squidward ultimately finds Patrick even more annoying than SpongeBob.
  • Hollywood Atheist: "Just One Bite" implies that Squidward is either an atheist or a Nay-Theist, with him remarking to SpongeBob that he "has no soul" (a hellish background and laugh pops up behind him when he says that, and he notices, so make of that what you will).
  • Human Popsicle: During the events of "SB-129", Squidward is locked in the freezer. He thinks someone will notice he's gone and get him out. They do not after 2,000 years, where Squidward travels back to his normal time. So technically, he's over 2,000 years old.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • He finds it insufferable to put up with someone as assholish as himself, like his boss.
    • In earlier seasons, despite his insistence that SpongeBob is the one bothering him, many of Squidward's troubles came from the fact that he wouldn't leave SpongeBob and Patrick alone, even if they're not directly bothering him or even want him there.
      • "Naughty Nautical Neighbors": SpongeBob and Patrick, in their own backyards, quietly send messages to each other through bubbles. Squidward decides to interfere anyway.
      • "The Camping Episode": SpongeBob and Patrick don't invite Squidward to camp with them and are perfectly fine with him leaving, but Squidward invites himself along anyway.
      • "Club SpongeBob": SpongeBob and Patrick actually try to keep Squidward out of their treehouse, since it's too small for the three of them to fit. Squidward stuffs himself in anyway.
      • "Idiot Box": SpongeBob and Patrick don't invite Squidward to join them in the box and even give him a free TV. Squidward is so focused on the noises they're making that he insists on joining in.
      • "Snowball Effect": SpongeBob and Patrick decide to stop having their snowball fight and make a peace treaty. Squidward instigates it again.
      • Again in "Snowball Effect", Squidward told Patrick to think of him as SpongeBob and to practice pelting SpongeBob with snowballs. Patrick does so in compliance, but Squidward not liking a snowball thrown at his face asks, "Patrick, why didn't you hit SpongeBob"?
    • "Squidville": Squidward bumps into another squid, who lashes out at him rather than just a gentle, "Excuse me" or "Sorry, my bad", then they start exchanging insults.
    • In F.U.N., he calls Plankton "the most hated thing in Bikini Bottom" when it's not as if he's that much loved there, either (though he does sort of imply he recognizes that feeling by saying "It hurts, doesn't it? I know!").
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: He's a jerk, but his bad luck and him constantly being harassed by SpongeBob and Patrick make him quite sympathetic.
  • Informed Flaw: Though it tends to vary from episode to episode, he's generally considered in-universe to be a Terrible Artist despite his insistence on his paintings' quality. From an outside perspective, his paintings are at the very least done by someone who understands the fundamentals even if they're fairly derivative of existing works and very repetitive in their subject matter (being that they're all portraits of himself). Depending on the viewer's tastes, they might not be all that great but they're certainly not hideous.
  • Informed Species: invoked Word of God is he's an octopus and this is confirmed in countless episodes (for example in "The Play's the Thing", Squidward introduces himself as such during his life story). While he has the bulbous head and rectangular pupils of an octopus, his name and tentacles note  imply otherwise.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Thankfully, like SpongeBob, he's pretty much near indestructible. In spite of being exploded, run over, hit with doors, having his toenail ripped off and being gored multiple times, he's still alive and in one piece.
  • Irrational Hatred: In the earliest seasons, Squidward's dislike of SpongeBob was pretty unreasonable, and it was implied that he's using SpongeBob as a scapegoat to avoid facing that his problems and misfortunes are all entirely his fault. In later seasons, while SpongeBob does deserve his ire at times, Squidward's now overblown hatred and hostility can still feel very disproportionate, especially if SpongeBob hasn't done anything to provoke him.
  • It's All About Me: It depends on the episode, but Squidward is more often than not a selfish jerk who only helps others when there's something in it for him. Best shown in "Culture Shock", where he makes almost no effort to hide that the talent show he's organized is more for his own gain than for the Krusty Krab, and presents his own act with a ton of fanfare.
  • Jaded Washout: Squidward had a lot of dreams of being an artist or musician, but things haven't gone well for him that he's stuck at a dead-end job at the Krusty Krab.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • His overall view of his life is somewhat justified. He works a low-paying minimum wage job, he is constantly a victim of bad luck, SpongeBob and Patrick bother him endlessly, and his rival Squilliam constantly rubs his rich lifestyle in Squidward's face.
    • In the post-movie seasons, as a result of heavy Flanderization, Squidward's hatred of SpongeBob and Patrick has become far more justified, considering the fact that the two often barge into his home uninvited, and their antics often cause him physical injury. In "Boating Buddies", when Squidward declares SpongeBob the "bane of his existence", Mrs. Puff agrees, having suffered just as much due to SpongeBob's stupidity.
      Mrs. Puff: Yours too?
    • His attitude towards working at the Krusty Krab is much more realistic than SpongeBob's, since Mr. Krabs is a Bad Boss who regularly underpays and mistreats them, and many of their customers are insufferably dim-witted, rude or absurdly entitled.
  • Jerkass to One: While Squidward is generally a snide, rude asshole to everyone around him, and has personally admitted to hating everyone in Bikini Bottom on more than one occasion, he's much ruder and meaner to SpongeBob than he is to anyone else. While it's often understandable with how SpongeBob harasses him, it's harder to excuse Squidward going out of his way to get SpongeBob hurt or even killed.
  • Jerkass Realization: There are many episodes where Squidward realizes the error in his ways and tries to make up for being so mean to SpongeBob. "Fools in April" and "Dying for Pie" come to mind.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: More-or-less an embittered asshole who insults customers under his breath and treats SpongeBob horribly, unprovoked or not. Arrogance, narcissism, and blunt rudeness are also consistently hallmarks of his character. Granted, how much of an ass he is is Depending on the Writer. There are times, however, that Squidward shows compassion for other characters and shows he really does care beneath his grouchy exterior. Despite his negative aspects, he can be courteous towards other characters just as long as they don't bother him. He's even stood up for SpongeBob on several occasions. A notable one is in the Season 3 episode "Born Again Krabs", when he is shocked that Mr. Krabs sold SpongeBob to The Flying Dutchman just to make some cheap money.
    (facing what he thinks is his imminent death) Spongebob, no matter what I've said, I've always sort of liked you!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Shows this side of himself from time to time. For example, in "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?", he's the only member of the group who's genuinely happy that SpongeBob has run away from Bikini Bottom, to the extent that he deliberately sabotages the others' search efforts; the only reason he agrees to help is because Mr. Krabs bribed him with a fancy egg he needed to complete his collection.
    Squidward: [sadly] If I knew that was the last time I'd see SpongeBob... [happily] I would have slammed the door in his face even harder!
  • "Just Joking" Justification: In "Fools in April", Squidward gets annoyed with SpongeBob pulling harmless April Fool's pranks on people, and decides to show him what a "real prank" is all about by setting up a Rube Goldberg Device that injures and humiliates him, laughing hysterically all the while... until the results drive SpongeBob out of the Krusty Krab in tears, leading to the on-lookers storming out of the restaurant in disgust at Squidward's cruelty. Squidward insists he was just kidding and it was just a joke, but no one is convinced, and Squidward himself soon realizes the difference between his pranks and SpongeBob's: SpongeBob's pranks were harmless and meant to make other people laugh, while Squidward's was cruel and meant to hurt SpongeBob so he could laugh at him.

  • Karma Houdini: While Squidward gets some well-deserved karma for his jerkassery, there are times when he gets away with being an asshole with no provocation whatsoever. Good examples of this are the episodes "Grandma's Kisses", "Wet Painters" and "Can You Spare A Dime?"
  • Karmic Butt-Monkey: He is often this, with his bad luck and lack of respect from his peers mostly being a well-deserved result of his own narcissism and Irrational Hatred of everything. As the show evolved, however, this role became less provoked and leaned more into Comedic Sociopathy territory. However, he still gets hit with karma sometimes in post-movie seasons. It's best shown in "I Heart Dancing"; SpongeBob has been chosen to audition for a role in a dance number, but a jealous Squidward decides to "teach" him various dances in an effort to overwork him so he can't go to the audition. Ultimately, SpongeBob is too tired to go and Squidward auditions instead plus gets the part... only to find out he is to star in a musical run by his rival Squilliam. Squidward is subsequently forced to train to perform a dance SpongeBob had performed earlier, with Squilliam clearly planning to run him ragged just as Squidward had done to SpongeBob.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • As shown below, he loves doing this to SpongeBob, especially in the early seasons.
    • In "Club SpongeBob", Squidward stomped on a roach then tried frying and eating him. Then a plane drops a whole bountiful of food (gourmet foods at that like smoked sausages and birthday cakes) for SpongeBob and Patrick to eat. Squidward stares in awe while the roach regains consciousness and whacks him with a stick.
  • The Killjoy: Squidward often grumpily tells his neighbors SpongeBob and Patrick to stop goofing off. Sometimes it's because they're getting in his way, but other times he's just crabby.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Very much a case of Depending on the Writer, but he fancies himself very mature and highly cultured despite other characters often considering his artistic displays confusingly pretentious if not outright hideous.
  • Lack of Empathy: Exaggerated in "Little Yellow Book" and even before that, Squidward rarely helps anyone without some selfish reason behind it or when his self-preservation kicks in. As mentioned above, he was the only character who never felt remorse for making SpongeBob run away.
  • The Lancer: To Mr. Krabs in the earlier seasons, though it didn't save him from old man Krabs' schemes to get money. Case in point, he's appointed manager of the Krusty Krab 2 in the movie, and left in charge a few times while Mr. Krabs is away or in the hospital (or in one case dead). Occasionally plays SpongeBob's nay-saying foil when tagging along on adventures.
  • Lazy Bum: He's a sloppy employee at the Krusty Krab, either reading magazines (even in front of waiting customers), sleeping on the job or occasionally Playing Sick. It's to the extent that in "Bubble Buddy", he only wanted to pop Bubble Buddy because he "made [him] provide excellent service."
  • Lean and Mean: Sometimes. He's very skinny and often unpleasant.
  • Leitmotif: The production music piece Comic walk would often play during scenes with him interacting with SpongeBob and Patrick.
  • Lethal Chef: More specifically, a lethal fry-chef. He seems to be pretty good at cooking gourmet meals. But if you ask him to make anything related to fast-food, then get ready to lose your appetite.
    • The Krabby Patty he made in "The Algae is Always Greener" deserves special mention.
    • Pretty much every time he’s shown in charge of cooking in the Krusty Krab, he fails miserably, including but not limited to, burning a milkshake.
    • And this priceless little snippet:
      Customer #1: You call this food!? My sandwich tastes like a fried boot!
      Customer #2: My sandwich is a fried boot!
    • This:
      Customer #1: He burnt my Krabby Patty.
      Customer #2: He burnt my fries!
      Customer #3: He burnt my shake.
  • Magma Man: As Captain Magma in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V", he has lava powers.
  • Manchild: During the latter half of Season 9 and a few episodes in Season 10, Squidward suddenly became far more prone to childish actions, like whining about not getting ice cream in "The Fish Bowl", singing loudly in the abandoned Krusty Krab in "SpongeBob's Place" and both pantsing Mr. Krabs and trying to fly after becoming convinced he's in a dream in "CopyBob DittoPants". This characterization mostly vanished afterwards.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Like SpongeBob, Squidward is the Feminine Boy to Sandy's Masculine Girl, having interests in playing clarinets, painting and dancing compared to Sandy being able to fight creatures bigger than her due to her karate skills and is among the strongest characters in the series
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: "I Heart Dancing" combines this with Karmic Twist Ending. SpongeBob has been chosen to audition for a role in a dance number, but Squidward, jealous of him, decides to "teach" SpongeBob various dances in an effort to overwork him so he can't go to the audition and eventually works him like a dog. In the end, SpongeBob is too tired to go and Squidward auditions instead and gets the part. However, it turns out that the number Squidward's going to be dancing in is Squilliam's, who proceeds to work Squidward like a dog much like Squidward worked SpongeBob like one.
  • Naked People Are Funny: He is occasionally seen naked for the sake of a joke, like when he tears off his Kuddly Krab uniform in defiance only for an cop to promptly write him a ticket in "Bossy Boots" or when he runs out of his house nude over paranoia of SpongeBob wrecking the Krusty Krab in his absence in "Squid's Day Off".
  • Narcissist: Just about all of his artwork is self-portraits.
  • Never My Fault: In earlier episodes, he tended to blame misfortunes that were his own doing on others, though now it really has become not his fault. In general, earlier seasons implied that Squidward is using SpongeBob as a convenient scapegoat to avoid facing that all of his problems are entirely self inflicted, and thus exaggerates how much of a nuisance SpongeBob actually is to fit that narrative.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: In earlier seasons, Squidward was clearly meant to be the mean one in comparison to SpongeBob and Patrick, rejecting their friendly overtures and sometimes even trying to drive them apart.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: His character is equal parts Jack Benny and Jackie Gleason. Like Benny's character on his radio show, he's a narcissist and a dreadful musician; meanwhile, some of his more passionate lines are read in a rhythm similar to some of Ralph Kramden's more famous ones ("He's gonna be loved... so much, he's gonna drown in it! DROWN IN IT!" = "YOU! Are a blabbermouth! A BLABBERMOUTH!!") while others are a direct homage ("Hummina hummina hummina...").
  • Non-Action Guy: Never shown doing the cartoonish feats of athleticism the rest of the cast are and generally seems to be pretty unathletic.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Despite having "Squid" in his name, he is actually an octopus. The reason given for this is simply because it sounds better than "Octoward".
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Many characters are made to look cute, or at least marketable. Squidward on the other hand looks much more humanoid, with features such as a wrinkled forehead and droopy nose that aren't traditionally cute. As a result, he's usually the cast member singled out in-universe as being ugly.
  • No-Respect Guy: "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost" revolves around SpongeBob thinking Squidward has died and is now haunting him. When he arranges a funeral for him, the guests have this to say:
    Mr. Krabs: Oh, Squidward... we all came as soon as we were sure you were dead.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • If Squidward does partake in SpongeBob's tomfoolery, he'll end up taking the games too seriously, ruining them for everyone else.
    • In "The Sewers of Bikini Bottom", he ends up joining SpongeBob in flushing stuff down the toilet and is clearly having fun doing so even though he normally has no patience for the sponge's idiotic antics.
    • In "Life Insurance", Squidward never gives any indication that he knows what the titular concept actually is. He rolls his eyes at what SpongeBob and Patrick think it is, saying it's utter nonsense that a piece of paper can make you invincible, but he doesn't correct them on pointing out the true meaning of life insurance. That duty falls to Mr. Krabs towards the end of the episode, while Squidward gets dumb luck and ends up convinced that the paper can make him invincible.
  • One-Track-Minded Artist: All of his paintings, as well as his other art, are focused on himself.
  • Only Sane by Comparison: He's usually the most reasonable and rational character on the show. However, he's still selfish, rude, lazy, hot-tempered, snobbish and extremely egotistical.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Squidward usually hates SpongeBob with a passion, which is all the more shocking in "Born Again Krabs" when he becomes outright appalled at Mr. Krabs selling SpongeBob's soul for only 62 cents. Squidward himself even says "I can't believe I'm saying this" as he's about to tell off Mr. Krabs.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: He is often very quick to jump at the chance for fame and fortune, even when he doesn't deserve it. This is best shown in "Artist Unknown", when he passes SpongeBob's sculpture off as his own, and takes back everything he told SpongeBob regarding how untalented he is in order for him to recreate it after the original breaks.
  • Perpetual Frowner: With how poorly he's treated, it's understandable how rarely he smiles.
  • Pet the Dog: Sometimes shows compassion for others. Interestingly, episodes like this downplay his Butt-Monkey status considerably.
    • "Pizza Delivery" is the most obvious where a fish crushes SpongeBob's spirit for allegedly forgetting about his drink and Squidward gets ticked off and shoves the pizza in the offender's face.
    • In "Krab Borg", he slaps and interrogates Mr. Krabs over his and SpongeBob's belief that he's an evil robot. When SpongeBob cries at the sight of Mr. Krabs getting slapped, Squidward actually stops to ask SpongeBob what's wrong and consoles him.
    • When Squidward hears SpongeBob and Patrick realistically pretending to get hurt in "Idiot Box", he's shown to be visibly concerned that the two were harmed for real.
    • He shows remorse for how he treated SpongeBob in "Christmas Who" and "Fools in April".
    • When SpongeBob ends up breaking his thumbs and has trouble flipping patties in "Two Thumbs Down", Squidward actually offers to help him. SpongeBob refuses because he wants to do it himself, but it's still a very sweet thing for Squidward to do.
  • Phrase Catcher: "MR. SQUIDWARD!", said by Mr. Krabs whenever Squid does something wrong.
  • Playing Sick: He hates his job at the Krusty Krab and dealing with the general public, his cheapskate boss and his annoying coworker (who is one of two annoying neighbors) that he will sometimes do this to get out of work on some occasions. Examples include "Accidents will Happen", "Squiditis" and "Squidward's Sick Daze".
  • Playing the Victim Card: Will often go out of his way to Kick The Sponge, then when it backfires in his face, he'll whine about how miserable SpongeBob makes him, whether or not SpongeBob actually did anything.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: While he's serious most of the time, a few episodes such as "Fools in April" and "Squidville" have him acting childish, and becoming a dangerous madman in the process.

  • Red Baron: As the Killer Krabby Patty in SpongeBob, You're Fired!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he gets really angry, his eyes become red and bloodshot (moreso than the default maroon color of his pupils).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to SpongeBob's red. He's more serious and logical than the impulsive and emotional SpongeBob.
  • Renaissance Man: While his skills tend to be universally derided In-Universe, he is well-versed in just about every plastic art, music, dance, interior decorating and cooking.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Everytime he snitches on SpongeBob and Patrick, he always gets in trouble with them.
  • Sadist: Squidward almost always gets his kicks out of the pain, suffering, and embarrassment inflicted upon SpongeBob and Patrick.
    • In "The Camping Episode":
      Squidward: Wouldn't it be great if they got lost in the wood and never came back? [cue thought bubble]
      SpongeBob: [nervously, while walking in the woods with him] Patrick, I'm scared.
    • In "Fools in April" and "Little Yellow Book", his humiliation of SpongeBob gets cranked up to eleven. Though, moreso in the latter episode, as shows no remorse for what he did, unlike in the former.
    • It pretty much reaches its epitome in "Sportz?": Squidward is fed up with SpongeBob and Patrick's crap and invents a sports game where the duo are on the receiving end of injuries, but must go by the ritual "No pain, no gain", all in an attempt to get them murdered.
  • Sanity Slippage: He has his moments of clearly becoming less sane, such as in the episode "Squid's Day Off" when after one too many trips to the Krusty Krab on his "day off", he slowly becomes insane and locks himself in his house to keep from going back to the Krusty Krab to check up on SpongeBob. He finally snaps when he hallucinates SpongeBob in the drain of his bathtub and runs back to the Krusty Krab to catch up to him while in the nude.
  • The Scapegoat: Squidward has been blamed for things done by others numerous times. Just to name a few examples.
    • In "Krab Borg", he and Spongebob tie up Mr. Krabs and destroy several of his possessions, assuming him to be a robot. Despite Spongebob being the one to convince Squidward in the first place, he beats a hasty retreat while Squidward is left cleaning the mess and being yelled at by his enraged boss.
    • Perhaps the most infamous example, "Can You Spare A Dime?" has Squidward quitting his job after Krabs accuses him of stealing his dime. This is debunked by the end of the episode and Squidward is rehired... only to then be accused of misplacing the dime.
    • All throughout "Keep Bikini Bottom Beautiful", he is falsely given numerous littering tickets by an oblivious cop.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Squidward usually does this because he's asked to do something, oftentimes humiliating, with no compensation:
    • In "Greasy Buffoons", when Mr. Krabs tells Squidward and SpongeBob that the grease trap has to be emptied by two employees for no overtime pay, Squidward literally vanishes into thin air.
    • In "Free Samples", to recover the good name of the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob comes up with the idea to put a dancing monkey routine, with him as the music player and Squidward as the monkey. When a small child throws a coin at Squidward's face and demand he dance, Squidward throws the vest and fez parts of his costume, and angrily storms off, when SpongeBob tries to stop him from giving up on saving the Krusty Krab, Squidward literally walks over SpongeBob, and goes home.
    • In "Move it or Lose it", when the zoning official is about to bulldoze the Krusty Krab (as in, use a bulldozer to move the Krusty Krab one foot back) Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob chained themselves in resistance, but Squidward slipped from his chains and is at home sipping tea.
    • In "Krusty Towers" after Mr. Krabs turns the Krusty Krab into a hotel with a "We shall never deny a guest even the most ridiculous request" policy, Krabs forces Squidward to cater to Patrick's every whim, but when the humiliation is too much, Squidward quits in frustration and storms out. He then returns and forces Krabs to wait on him hand and foot citing the hotel's policy.
  • Shaking the Rump: Shakes his bottom on occasions, especially when mocking SpongeBob in "Club SpongeBob".
  • Shown Their Work: Squidward is (along with Sandy) the Only Sane Man of the show, which is a reference to the fact that octopi are among the smartest animals.
  • Shrine to Self: Provides the page image. Squidward has a shrine to himself in every room. And he painted or sculpted all of them himself. He's his own favorite, and apparently only, artistic subject. Even when confronted with a perfectly sculpted statue, he says "You got the nose all wrong!" and slaps a clay copy of his nose onto the statue, then proclaims "Now it's art!"
  • Signature Sound Effect: Due to the suction cups on the soles of his feet, he makes a distinct squishing noise whenever he walks.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Just to give you an idea — all of Squidward's art projects are self-portraits. Believes himself to be a wonderful artist when in reality he's not, sometimes. To drive the point home, in "Culture Shock", Squidward sets up a talent show largely for his own gain, presents his own act with a ton of fanfare, and declares it to be the best... but within minutes, the audience is pelting him with tomatoes and booing him off the stage.
    Squidward: You bottom feeders! You don't even know talent!
  • The Snark Knight: Always making snarky comments on the screwed-up world around him.
  • Sore Loser: Squidward hates losing to anybody, but it's not like he deserves to win anyway.
  • The Soulless: Subverted. He claims he doesn't have a soul (cue the background of Hell appearing and demonic laughter), and a later episode has a similar gag aimed at him about 'living without a soul'. However there isn't any indication that he is indeed without a soul.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Squidward is a massive grouch, but only because his life is so miserable, working a thankless minimum-wage job and living next door to his endlessly annoying neighbor while being the universe's kickball.
  • Species Surname: Subverted. Despite being named Squidward, he's an octopus.
  • The Spock: Much much more so in the later episodes where he seems to be the only person with a level head.
  • Spoiled Brat: In "Can You Spare A Dime?". At first, he's grateful for SpongeBob taking him in, but after many months, he starts treating SpongeBob like a slave while he lays in bed all day.
  • Stepford Snarker: Implied a lot; all he wants is to not be mistreated and get some appreciation for all the work he does, but the world around him keeps messing with him.
  • Straw Loser: It takes one Butt-Monkey to make the likes of SpongeBob and Patrick look like winners.
  • Strong as They Need to Be:
    • While not particularly strong most of the time, in "Patty Caper", he lifts and moves his own house.
    • Squidward is also strong enough to carry a heavy rock - although with slight difficulty - in "Big Sister Sam" (Season 7).
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Downplayed, but he seems to have this attitude towards SpongeBob and sometimes Patrick. Normally, Squidward is nothing but cranky and irritable to the two of them, but sometimes, he shows that he is pretty fond of the two little weirdos.
    • In SB-129, he's positively overjoyed (complete with a MASSIVE grin) to see the both of them after enduring a traumatic journey through a time machine.
    • In "Graveyard Shift", when he thinks that he and SpongeBob will be killed by the Hash-Slinging Slasher, he picks up SpongeBob and hugs him and says completely earnestly, "I've always sort of liked you!"
    • When he believes that SpongeBob's condition is terminal in "Dying for Pie", he outright bursts into tears and sobs into his hands.
  • Supreme Chef: Despite being a bad cook regarding fast food, Squidward is quite good at conventional baking, such as casseroles and soufflés.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: He's frequently annoyed by the idiocy of SpongeBob, Patrick, and anyone else who isn't acting intelligent. The only characters he doesn't have a problem with are Sandy, Mrs. Puff, and Pearl (though the latter can't stand him).
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity:
  • Temporarily a Villain: While villain may be a strong word to describe him, he plays an antagonistic role whenever he falls into the Took a Level in Jerkass territory.
  • Terrible Artist: He fancies himself a great painter, but most other characters consider his artwork unsightly. Unlike some examples where it's blatantly obvious to the viewer as well, his artwork isn't really of amateur quality technique-wise. It's implied that it more has to do with his insistence on making every piece a portrait of himself, as the instances he veers away from that are much better received.
  • This Loser Is You: Probably the most Closer to Earth character in the show, though despite his superior logic and sanity over the rest of the cast, he is often depicted as a Small Name, Big Ego who is talentless and unexceptional in reality.
  • Those Two Guys: Sometimes paired with Mr. Krabs, especially in earlier seasons as they're both adults compared to SpongeBob and Patrick.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Gets one roughly Once a Season. Either something finally goes right for him, or he at least gets to laugh at karma finally hitting SpongeBob and/or Patrick.
    • "Suction Cup Symphony" ends with the audience actually applauding Squidward for his symphony despite Spongebob and Patrick's shenanigans getting intertwined with it.
    • "Love That Squid" ends with Squidward getting the girl because she finds his true personality attractive.
    • And of course, "Band Geeks" ends with the most iconic Squidward victory, where he successfully one-ups his rival Squilliam with his marching band.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Beat the tar out of a group of greedy fast-food proprietors who were trying to use SpongeBob for slave labor while dressed in a giant Krabby Patty suit. Also functions as a Big Damn Hero moment.
    • Took another one in The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water as Sour Note.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In seasons 1-3, Squidward acts like a jerk towards SpongeBob and Patrick most of the time, but at some points can be shown to actually care about them. In later seasons he takes the first possible opportunity to Kick The Sponge. Not that it's not justified... sometimes.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He was ecstatic when he found out Tentacle Acres has Canned Bread. He also says smoked sausages are his favorite in "Club SpongeBob", and coincidence or not those sausages are shaped like his nose.
  • Tsundere: This trope is very zig-zagged as it very much depends on the writer. Some writers portray him as being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold deep down and likes SpongeBob, whilst other writers make him a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk who really wants SpongeBob gone. Most fans like to think the former.

  • Ultimate Job Security: Squidward may very well be the trope of never being fired regardless of how incompetent and inefficient he is incarnate. He openly despises his job at the Krusty Krab, often belittles and insults the customers to their faces, regularly sleeps on the job or dumps his workload on SpongeBob, and it's even implied from time to time that he's actually trying to get fired... but Krabs never does fire him. In fact, in the episode "SpongeBob, You're Fired", it's stated that the only reason Mr. Krabs is firing SpongeBob instead of Squidward, despite SpongeBob being a much better and more competent employee, is because Squidward has seniority.
  • The Unapologetic: He wasn't sorry for reading SpongeBob's diary in "Little Yellow Book", bringing him to tears. But when was chained in town while the people throw tomatoes at him, he asks SpongeBob to forgive him, at least until he reads his real diary.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: There are some occasions, most notably in the later seasons, where Squidward lashes out on SpongeBob and Patrick even when they're trying to make up for the times their dim-witted antics bothered him.
    • In "Squidtastic Voyage", when he eagerly screams at SpongeBob and Patrick to get out his body without even a thank you for getting the reed out of his throat. This results in a Poor Communication Kills in the end, when he yells "Go!", resulting in Patrick pressing the grow button. Justified due to the two of them causing the reed to get stuck in his throat to begin with.
    • Also, on "Good Neighbors", Squidward had set up a security alarm in his house as SpongeBob and Patrick come in without any problem to give him an apology cake and apologize for unknowingly ruining his Sunday. But Squidward tries to get them kicked out instead of accepting their apology.
    • In "Can You Spare a Dime?", while initially thankful of SpongeBob taking him in from homelessness, Squidward becomes an absolute spoiled brat who refuses to leave and makes SpongeBob wait on him hand and foot. And he gets away with it in the end. Almost.
    • The entire episode of "Sponge-Cano" revolves around him admitting that he isn't grateful for anything and complains to everyone that he is the most miserable person in Bikini Bottom. At the end of the episode, SpongeBob saves Squidward from falling down the volcano, only for Squidward to tell him that he outright lied to him about being grateful.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When Squidward gets mad, all HELL breaks loose. Just watch "Artist Unknown" and "Squidville"!
  • Vague Age: He's suggested to be older than SpongeBob, though how much so seems to vary. Sometimes he appears to be around the same age while others present him as a crotchety middle-aged man.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: Squidward can occasionally be this. Usually, he's just an antagonist by proxy of his being condescending and annoyed by SpongeBob and Patrick's antics and demeanor. Granted, sometimes his ire isn't entirely unjustified…
  • Vocal Evolution: Squidward sounded much stuffier and slightly lower in the first season. Starting with Season 2, Squidward's voice became much clearer and slightly higher, which the rest of the series retained.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Turns into a non-anthro octopus ("Squid's Day Off") and an amorphous liquid ("Suction Cup Symphony"), both done of his own volition.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out Mr. Krabs for his actions in "Born Again Krabs", being utterly disgusted that Krabs sold SpongeBob to the Flying Dutchman for 62 cents, after SpongeBob put his life on the line to save Krabs from the Dutchman; he even outright tells Mr. Krabs that he should be ashamed of himself for doing so. Mr. Krabs immediately repents.
  • Wimp Fight: Gets into a wussy fight with Bubble Bass after the latter insults him in "Bulletin Board".
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Is constantly the victim of this. Whenever something good actually does happen to him, it only lasts for a while right before something random ruins it for him.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: Has light yellow eyes and has certainly been shifty at times - he has snuck into Spongebob's house on several occasions, and in "Good Ol' Whatshisname", he took off with a man's wallet in order to know his name.

Alternative Title(s): Squidward Tentacles