|SpongeBob SquarePants character|
|First appearance||"Help Wanted" (1999)|
|Created by||Stephen Hillenburg|
|Voiced by||Bill Fagerbakke|
|Species||Pink sea star|
|Relatives||Parents: Herb and Margie
Patrick Star is a fictional character in the Nickelodeon animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. He is voiced by Bill Fagerbakke and first appeared in the series' pilot episode, "Help Wanted", which premiered on May 1, 1999. Patrick was created and designed by animator Stephen Hillenburg. Patrick's most significant character trait is his lack of common sense, which sometimes makes him a negative influence on his best friend, SpongeBob SquarePants.
Role in SpongeBob SquarePants
Patrick is depicted as an overweight starfish who is dimwitted, lazy, immature, forgetful, unmannerly, and generally ignorant. He has been shown to make many idiotic mistakes such as forgetting how to eat, and not realizing that the character Sandy Cheeks is a female. Despite this, he has occasionally been portrayed as somewhat of a savant, with articulate observance to certain subjects in specific detail. However, he always reverts quickly back to his usual, unintelligent self after displaying the moment of wisdom. He holds no form of occupation except for several very brief stints working at the Krusty Krab in a variety of positions (often unpaid), and mostly spends his days either clowning around with SpongeBob or lounging beneath the rock under which he resides. At home, Patrick is typically depicted either sleeping (stuck to the bottom of his rock), watching TV (whether the TV is actually on or not), or engaged in the "art of doing nothing," at which he is apparently an expert. All the furnishings in the space under his rock are made of sand, and Patrick can simply opt to quickly build up furniture as needed; even so, his living space is sparse and contains only the barest essentials. Aside from best friend SpongeBob, who is often impressed by Patrick's capacity to come up with naive yet genius plans or solutions, Patrick frequently irritates those around him and is confounded by the simplest of questions or subjects. The characters of Mr. Krabs and Squidward Tentacles have no patience for Patrick's stupidity, and don't pay him much regard. Sandy Cheeks often gets annoyed by Patrick, but still sees him as a friend. Patrick is rarely seen with a shirt on.
SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg began creating cartoons and caricatures of tide pool-dwelling sea life, including starfish, while teaching marine biology at the Orange County Marine Institute in Dana Point, California, from 1984 to 1987. In 1987, Hillenburg left the institute to pursue his dream of becoming an animator. Patrick Star is voiced by Bill Fagerbakke.
Criticism and controversy
In 2005, a promotional video that involves SpongeBob promoting diversity and tolerance was criticized by a Christian evangelical group in the United States because they saw the character was being used as an advocate for homosexuality though the video contained "no reference to sex, sexual lifestyle or sexual identity."
The incident led to questions as to whether or not SpongeBob, his best friend Patrick, and the rest of the series' characters are homosexual characters. In 2002, Hillenburg denied that his characters were gay. He clarified the issue and said "We never intended them to be gay. I consider them to be almost asexual. We're just trying to be funny and this has got nothing to do with the show."
Jeffrey P. Dennis, author of the journal article "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons," argued that SpongeBob and Sandy are not romantically in love, while adding that he believed that SpongeBob and Patrick "are paired with arguably erotic intensity." Dennis noted the two are "not consistently coded as romantic partners," since they live in separate residences, and have distinct groups of friends, but claimed that in the series, "the possibility of same-sex desire is never excluded." Martin Goodman of Animation World Magazine described Dennis's comments regarding SpongeBob and Patrick as "interesting."
- Writers: Aaron Springer, C.H. Greenblatt, Mark O'Hare (November 30, 2001). "I'm with Stupid". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 2. Episode 37b.
- Writers: Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese, Dani Michaeli (February 19, 2007). "Rule of Dumb". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 4. Episode 77b.
- Writers: Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, Richard Pursel (January 15, 2011). "Big Sister Sam". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 7. Episode 152a.
- Writers: Paul Tibbitt, Kent Osborne (March 5, 2004). "Ugh". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 3. Episode 54.
- Writers: Luke Brookshier, Tom King, Steven Banks, Richard Pursel (April 11, 2008). "Pest of the West". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 5. Episode 96.
- Writers: Jay Lender, William Reiss, David Fain (March 8, 2001). "Pressure". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 2. Episode 32a.
- Writers: Luke Brookshier, Tom King, Dani Michaeli (October 6, 2006). "Squidtastic Voyage". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 4. Episode 75a.
- Writers: Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, Dani Michaeli (July 19, 2009). "No Hat for Pat". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 6. Episode 120a.
- Writers: Luke Brookshier, Nate Cash, Eric Shaw (November 23, 2007). "Stanley S. SquarePants". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 5. Episode 100b.
- Banks, pp. 8-9
- Banks, p. 9
- Hillenburg, Stephen (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- BBC Staff (January 20, 2005). "US right attacks SpongeBob video". BBC News. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- "Will Spongebob make you gay?". MSNBC. Retrieved January 21, 2005.
- Associated Press (January 22, 2005). "Spongebob, Muppets and the Sister Sledge writer suffer criticism". USA Today. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- BBC Staff (October 9, 2002). "Camp cartoon star 'is not gay'". BBC News. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- Silverman, Stephen M. (January 28, 2005). "SpongeBob Asexual, Not Gay: Creator". People. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
- Dennis, Jeffrey P. "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons." Journal of Popular Film & Television. Fall 2003. Volume 31, Issue 3. 132-140. 9p, 3bw. Within the PDF document the source info is on p. 137 (6/10)
- Goodman, Martin. "Deconstruction Zone — Part 2." Animation World Network. Wednesday March 10, 2004.4. Retrieved on October 28, 2009.
- Banks, Steven (September 24, 2004). SpongeBob Exposed! The Insider's Guide to SpongeBob SquarePants. Gregg Schigiel (Illustrator). New York City, New York: Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-0-689-86870-2.