List of SpongeBob SquarePants characters

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The main characters of the series.
From left to right: Gary, Plankton, Karen, Mr. Krabs, Sandy, SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Mrs. Puff, and Pearl.

The characters in the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants were created by artist, animator, and former marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg. The series chronicles the adventures of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. Most characters are anthropomorphic sea creatures based on real-life species. Many of the characters' designs originated in an unpublished educational comic book titled The Intertidal Zone, which Hillenburg created in 1989.

SpongeBob SquarePants features the voices of Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Mr. Lawrence, Jill Talley, Carolyn Lawrence, Mary Jo Catlett, and Lori Alan. Most one-off and background characters are voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, Sirena Irwin, Bob Joles, Mark Fite and Thomas F. Wilson. In addition to the series' regular cast, various celebrities from a wide range of professions have voiced guest characters and recurring roles.

The show's characters have received positive critical reception and attention from celebrities. They have made frequent appearances in media outside of the television show, including a theatrical film series and many video games. The characters have also been referenced and parodied throughout popular culture. The title character SpongeBob became a merchandising icon during the height of the show's second season and has seen continued commercial popularity.

Creation and conception[edit]

Stephen Hillenburg originally conceived the characters of SpongeBob SquarePants in 1984, while he was teaching and studying marine biology at what is now the Orange County Marine Institute in Dana Point, California.[1] During this period, Hillenburg became fascinated with animation, and wrote a comic book titled The Intertidal Zone starring various anthropomorphic forms of sea creatures, many of which would evolve into SpongeBob SquarePants characters,[2] including "Bob the Sponge", who was the co-host of the comic and resembled an actual sea sponge as opposed to SpongeBob.[3] In 1987, Hillenburg left the institute to pursue his dream of becoming an animator.[2][3]

Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Pearl, and Squidward were the first other characters Hillenburg created for the show.[4] Many of their characteristics were based on Hillenburg's experiences during his time at the Ocean Institute or inspired by the traits of their species. Patrick's personality embodies the nature of the starfish; according to Hillenburg, they look "dumb and slow" but are "very active and aggressive" in reality, like Patrick.[5] Hillenburg drew inspiration from his former manager at a seafood restaurant while creating Mr. Krabs.[6] According to him, this manager was redheaded, muscular, and a former army cook; these traits were all adapted into Krabs' character.[7] His decision to design Pearl was influenced by his regular supervision of whale watches at the Ocean Institute, as well as by a cetacean skeleton at the institute.[8] He drew Pearl with an oversized, almost geometric head as a reference to sperm whales having the largest brain size of any extant animal on Earth.[4] He designed Squidward as an octopus because of the species' bulbous mantle; the octopus, he said, has "such a large bulbous head and Squidward thinks he's an intellectual, so of course he's gonna have [one]."[5] Hillenburg drew Squidward with six tentacles because "it was really just simpler for animation to draw him with six legs instead of eight".[5]

Several additions were made to the series' main cast before and after Hillenburg pitched the series to Nickelodeon; in his series bible, he added Sandy Cheeks the squirrel as a "character that could be a friend to SpongeBob but not a love interest."[9] Plankton and Karen were included in his bible but were not meant to make regular appearances; Plankton's voice actor Mr. Lawrence said that he "was only supposed to be in one or two episodes, but I was a writer on the show and I really liked this character".[10] Following his first voice recording, Lawrence drafted some of his own ideas, hoping to "prove Plankton could survive as more than a one-note character."[11] From then on, Plankton and Karen's roles in the series grew as Lawrence wrote ideas to give them more personality; notably, he decided to write Karen as Plankton's wife, rather than just his computer as was originally intended.[12] They were both officially promoted to main cast members in the credits of the 2004 theatrical film, in which they play central roles.

Hillenburg added Mrs. Puff in response to a request by Nickelodeon that SpongeBob attend school. Nickelodeon executives initially wanted to make SpongeBob a child since their most successful cartoons at the time focused on young, school-age characters.[13] Hillenburg stated that the network wanted SpongeBob to be like "Arnold [from Hey Arnold!] under the sea," but he told them, "No, that's not the show."[13] As a compromise, he decided to put SpongeBob in a boat-driving school, allowing him to keep writing SpongeBob as an adult while also using the school as a main plot element.[13] Showrunner Vincent Waller suggested that if Nickelodeon had creative control over SpongeBob, almost every episode would take place at Mrs. Puff's school, rather than at a variety of locations.[14] The choice to make Mrs. Puff a pufferfish, who inflates into a ball when SpongeBob crashes, was made to evoke the appearance of car airbags.[15]

Main characters[edit]

  • SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny) is a yellow anthropomorphic sea sponge who physically resembles a rectangular cleaning sponge clad in brown short pants, a white collared shirt, and a red tie. He lives in a pineapple house and is employed as a fry cook at a fast food restaurant called the Krusty Krab. He diligently attends Mrs. Puff's Boating School but has never passed; his lack of a driver's license is a running gag throughout the series. He is relentlessly optimistic and enthusiastic toward his job and his friends. SpongeBob's hobbies include jellyfishing, blowing bubbles, playing with his best friend Patrick, and unintentionally irritating his neighbor Squidward. He first appears in "Help Wanted".[16]
  • Patrick Star (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke) is a pink starfish who lives under a rock and wears flowered swim trunks. His most prominent character trait is his extremely low intelligence. He is best friends with SpongeBob and often unknowingly encourages activities that get the two into trouble. While typically unemployed throughout the course of the series, Patrick holds various short-term jobs as the storyline of each episode requires. He is generally slow and easy-going but can sometimes get aggressive, much like real starfish. He first appears in "Help Wanted".
  • Squidward Tentacles (voiced by Rodger Bumpass) is an octopus with a large nose who works as a cashier at the Krusty Krab. He is SpongeBob's next-door neighbor with a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. He believes himself to be a talented artist and musician, but nobody else recognizes his abilities. He plays the clarinet and often paints self-portraits in different styles, which he hangs up around his moai-shaped house. Although he loathes SpongeBob and Patrick, they are oblivious to his animosity and consider him a close friend. He first appears in "Help Wanted".
  • Sandy Cheeks (voiced by Carolyn Lawrence) is a squirrel from Texas who lives in an air-filled glass dome and wears a diving suit to breathe underwater. Whenever any aquatic creatures enter her home, they must wear helmets of water. Sandy works as a scientist, explorer, and inventor. She is a rodeo champion with a number of athletic interests, such as "sand-boarding" and karate. She speaks with a Southern drawl and uses typical Southern slang words and phrases. She first appears in "Tea at the Treedome".
  • Mr. Krabs (voiced by Clancy Brown) is a red crab who owns and operates the Krusty Krab restaurant where SpongeBob works. He is self-content, intelligent, and obsessed with the value and essence of money. He lives in an anchor with his teenage daughter Pearl, who is a whale. He dislikes spending money but will go to great lengths to make Pearl happy. He tends to worry more about his riches than about the needs of his employees. Having served in the navy, he loves sailing, whales, sea shanties, and talking like a pirate. He first appears in "Help Wanted".
  • Gary (voiced by Tom Kenny) is SpongeBob's pet sea snail who lives with him in their pineapple home and vocalizes like a cat. Despite only communicating through meows, other characters can understand and talk to him. Depicted as a level-headed character, Gary often serves as a voice of reason for SpongeBob and solves problems that his owner cannot. He has a pink shell that is impractically spacious on the inside. He first appears in "Help Wanted".
  • Plankton (voiced by Mr. Lawrence) and Karen (voiced by Jill Talley) are the owners of the Chum Bucket, an unsuccessful restaurant located across the street from the Krusty Krab. Their business is a commercial failure because they sell mostly inedible foods made from chum. Plankton is a small planktonic copepod[17] and the self-proclaimed archenemy of Mr. Krabs. He is a skilled inventor and possesses a Napoleon complex due to his short stature. Karen is Plankton's own invention, a talking supercomputer who supplies him with evil plans to steal Krabs' secret recipe for Krabby Patties. She is married to Plankton and usually takes residence in the Chum Bucket laboratory. They first appear in the episode "Plankton!".
  • Mrs. Puff (voiced by Mary Jo Catlett)[18] is an elderly, paranoid pufferfish who is SpongeBob's teacher at boating school, an underwater driver's education facility where students drive boats like cars. She wears a sailor suit and her school is made from a submerged lighthouse. SpongeBob is Mrs. Puff's most dedicated student and knows the answer to every question on her written and oral exams, but always panics and crashes when he actually boards a vessel. She puffs up into a ball when she is scared. She first appears in "Boating School".
  • Pearl Krabs (voiced by Lori Alan) is a teenage sperm whale who is Mr. Krabs' daughter. She wants to fit in with her fish peers, but finds this impossible to do because of the large size inherent to her species. She will inherit the Krusty Krab from her father and become its owner when she grows older, but is still in high school and does not yet have a job at the family business. Pearl's favorite activities are working at the Bikini Bottom Mall and using her father's credit card to buy anything that is in style. She first appears in "Squeaky Boots".

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Patchy the Pirate (portrayed by Tom Kenny) is the host of the series' special episodes. He is a live-action pirate and the president of the fictional SpongeBob fan club. He lives in an unnamed suburb of Encino, California, and segments hosted by him are often presented in a dual narrative with the animated stories. He made a special guest star appearance on Big Time Rush in the episode "Big Time Beach Party" with Carlos Pena Jr. and Logan Henderson. He first appears in "Christmas Who?"
  • Potty the Parrot (voiced by Stephen Hillenburg, 2000–2004; Paul Tibbitt, 2005–2012; Mr. Lawrence, 2017–present) is Patchy's green pet parrot, depicted as a crudely-made puppet with googly eyes controlled by very obvious strings. The character's name is a reference to "Polly wants a cracker," a phrase often used for parrots to vocally mimic. Potty is obnoxious and often annoys or talks back to Patchy while the latter is trying to host an episode.
  • The French Narrator (voiced by Tom Kenny) is a scuba diver with a camera who often introduces episodes or narrates the intertitles as if the series was a nature documentary about the ocean. He has a thick French accent as a reference to the distinctive speaking style of oceanographer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau. He is normally only heard, but physically appears twice: in "No Free Rides", in which SpongeBob and Mrs. Puff inadvertently hit him while driving, and in "Feral Friends", in which he is revealed to own a submarine.
  • Mermaid Man (voiced by Ernest Borgnine) and his sidekick Barnacle Boy (voiced by Tim Conway)[19] are two elderly and partially senile superheroes who live in a retirement home and are stars of SpongeBob and Patrick's favorite television show. Mermaid Man is known for completely forgetting things and yelling a prolonged "EVIL!" whenever he hears the word, while Barnacle Boy seems to be the smarter, more sensible, and more irritable of the two. "Mermaid Man Begins" reveals that their given names are Ernie and Tim. Aquaman artist Ramona Fradon drew the characters' comic book adventures.[20] Since Borgnine's death, both characters have been retired and limited to cameo appearances.
  • The Flying Dutchman (voiced by Brian Doyle-Murray) is an irritable pirate ghost named after the ghost ship of the same name. He haunts the seven seas because his unburied corpse was used as a window display. He collects souls as a Satan-like character and resides in a cavern containing Davy Jones' Locker, a literal locker stuffed with countless smelly socks, which within the series is analogous to Hell and occasionally mentioned as a curse word. In "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One," the musician Davy Jones makes a cameo appearance throwing socks from the locker at the Flying Dutchman. He first appears in "Scaredy Pants".
  • King Neptune (voiced by John O'Hurley/Jeffrey Tambor) is a nigh-omnipotent, trident-wielding merman god who rules the sea, based on the mythological deity of the same name. In the series, Neptune lives in a palace in Atlantis with his wife Amphitrite and son Triton. He is usually portrayed as arrogant and selfish, showing little sympathy for the sea's fish populace. Neptune has a mostly blue-green color scheme with a long brown beard and hair. A different King Neptune is featured in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. In the film, he resides near Bikini Bottom with his daughter Mindy and resembles a green-skinned king with a robe, neatly-trimmed hair, a domed crown to cover his bald spot, and powers limited to what can be exercised through his trident.
  • Larry the Lobster (voiced by Mr. Lawrence) is a lobster lifeguard of the Goo Lagoon. Larry is a bodybuilder and workout fanatic, and has occasionally been seen hanging out with SpongeBob and Patrick. He first appears in "Ripped Pants".
  • The Realistic Fish Head (voiced by Mr. Lawrence) is an announcer and news anchor fish, resembling a cut-out of a live-action bass fish. He appears in the series' opening theme. His name has changed repeatedly throughout the series; it is Elaine in "The Great Patty Caper", Johnny in Battle for Bikini Bottom, and "T. McTrout" in commercials for Nicktoons UK.
  • Perch Perkins (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is a perch and field news reporter. While the Realistic Fish Head only reports on television news programs, Perch makes physical appearances reporting about events that occur. He is normally purple with a dark purple coat with a black wig and headphones, although some episodes and Nicktoons MLB show him with an orange color scheme and a red coat.
  • Harold SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny) and Margaret SquarePants (voiced by Sirena Irwin) are SpongeBob's parents, who more closely resemble round sea sponges than SpongeBob. Harold is brown with glasses and a moustache, while Margaret is dark orange. They seem to live outside of Bikini Bottom, but still take the time to visit their son on occasion. They are proud of SpongeBob but embarrassed that he still does not have a driver's license.
  • Grandma SquarePants (voiced by Marion Ross) is SpongeBob's paternal grandmother. She has six children with her late husband, whose wisdom SpongeBob sometimes cites when he plans something. She spoils SpongeBob whenever he visits her house with cookies, milk, sweaters, and bedtime stories, even though SpongeBob can get embarrassed by it.
  • Squilliam Fancyson (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is Squidward Tentacles's arrogant and wealthy arch-rival who has been able to succeed in everything Squidward has only dreamed of doing. He owns a ridiculously large, almost castle-like four-story mansion with an expansive garden on the rooftop. He first appears in "Band Geeks" and his latest appearance was in "Code Yellow".
  • Mrs. Betsy Krabs (voiced by Paul Tibbitt/Sirena Irwin) is Mr. Krabs' overbearing mother who still treats him slightly like a child. She is a friend of Old Man Jenkins. She first appears in "Sailor Mouth" and has been mostly retired from the show, aside from a cameo in "Lame and Fortune".
  • Man Ray (voiced by John Rhys-Davies/Bob Joles) and the Dirty Bubble (voiced by Charles Nelson Reilly/Tom Kenny) are villains against Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Man Ray has a man's body and a helmet shaped to look like a stingray's head, which hides the fact that he does not have a head. The Dirty Bubble is a giant brown bubble with a face. Man Ray retires as supervillain in his first appearance, but he sometimes plays antagonistic roles afterwards.
  • Scooter (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) is a fish who enjoys surfing and is often seen at Goo Lagoon. He speaks like a stereotypical southern Californian and often calls SpongeBob "dude." He dies and becomes an angel in the second-season episode "Bubble Buddy", but returns unharmed for future episodes.
  • Purple Doctorfish (voiced by Rodger Bumpass) is a doctor who works as a physician at the Bikini Bottom Hospital and as a traveling veterinarian for pet snails. He has a calm demeanor and a deep, suave voice. SpongeBob was initially scared of visiting his office in "Suds" but later faces his fears and discovers he likes visiting the doctor's.
  • Old Man Jenkins (voiced by Tom Kenny/Doug Lawrence/Dee Bradley Baker) is an elderly townsperson who lives at the Shady Shoals retirement home and is a common patron of the Krusty Krab. His appearance and job changes often. One of his critical appearances is in "The Sponge Who Could Fly" wherein he plays a farmer, a sailor, and finally, a human cannonball. He believes SpongeBob is a box of Bran Flakes.
  • Jellyfish are recurring characters. They reside in Jellyfish Fields, a meadow in Bikini Bottom, and have a strong affinity for music. The creatures behave like sentient insects, squirt jelly, buzz and swarm like bees, and can sting their enemies with electric-like shocks that leave painful welts.

Minor characters[edit]

  • The Alaskan Bull Worm (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is a giant worm that terrorizes Bikini Bottom in "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm".
  • Angry Jack (voiced by Dee Snider) is the owner of a snail shell emporium in "Shell Shocked". He initially pretends to have an angry demeanor as a marketing stint for his store's commercials, but becomes truly infuriated when SpongeBob accidentally destroys every shell in his emporium.
  • Blackjack SquarePants (voiced by John DiMaggio) is SpongeBob's cousin who bullied him during their childhoods. In his lone appearance, Blackjack was imprisoned for littering but has since been released.
  • Bubble Buddy (voiced by Brad Abrell) is a humanoid bubble created by SpongeBob in "Bubble Buddy". His apparent inanimateness annoys other people of Bikini Bottom, but he is later revealed to be a sentient being before moving out of the town in a taxi-shaped bubble.
  • Bubbles (voiced by Matt Berry, Jeff Bennett in SpongeBob HeroPants) is a god-like dolphin who is the overseer of the universe, watching them from a triangular building in outer space. SpongeBob and Plankton accidentally end up in his audience while using Karen's time machine in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
  • Burger-Beard the Pirate (portrayed by Antonio Banderas) is a pirate who, upon discovering a book capable of rewriting reality, steals the Krabby Patty formula to open up a fast food drive-in while also changing Bikini Bottom into a wasteland. He appears as the main antagonist of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
  • Craig Mammalton (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is a seal who is popular among Goo Lagoon beachgoers for his tanned skin and golden caramel brown bones. In "Sun Bleached", he holds parties during the night that only permits those with tanned skin to enter, the highest level of which is bleached skin. He is a parody of George Hamilton.
  • The Cyclops (voiced by Neil Ross and portrayed by Aaron Hendry) is a marine diver who is always seen wearing a diving suit and helmet, appearing only in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. He is actually a normal adult man; however, because humans tower virtually all sea life, Mindy describes him as "the worst of all hazards". He is the owner of "Shell City", which is really the name of a seaside gift and souvenir shop.
  • Dennis (voiced by Alec Baldwin) is a hitman hired by Plankton to assassinate SpongeBob and Patrick before they are able to retrieve King Neptune's Crown from Shell City. Before he manages to do that, however, he is first stomped by the Cyclops, then hit by a pier. He only appeared in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
  • DoodleBob (voiced by Paul Tibbitt) is a hand drawing created by SpongeBob in his image using a human pencil, which is seemingly able to animate anything it draws. He speaks through unintelligible phrases. He appears in "Frankendoodle", serving as the antagonist until SpongeBob manages to trap him inside a book. He also featured as the main villain to defeat in the Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition video game.
  • Flats the Flounder (voiced by Thomas F. Wilson) is a green flounder who is the new student at Mrs. Puff's Boating School in "The Bully". He wants to kick SpongeBob's "butt" for no apparent reason and SpongeBob takes it as if Flats wants to murder him.
  • Fred[21] (voiced by Mr. Lawrence), better known as the character who shouts "My leg!" when injured, is a brown fish who was one of the first of the generic character models to appear in the series. He first appears in "Reef Blower", but his famous line, a running gag in the series, is not heard until "Boating School".
  • Gene Scallop (voiced by Gene Shalit) is a food critic who critiques the Krusty Krab in "The Krusty Sponge". He gives a bad review on everything except for SpongeBob, whose popularity is exploited by Mr. Krabs by remaking the Krusty Krab to have a SpongeBob theme. He is modeled after his voice actor, a real-life book and film critic.
  • Gordon (voiced by Ian McShane) is the leader of a band of Vikings who kidnaps SpongeBob and Squidward in "Dear Vikings". Except for himself, all of his crewmen are named "Olaf".
  • Grandpa Redbeard (voiced by Dennis Quaid) is Mr. Krabs' pirate paternal grandfather. In "Grandpappy the Pirate", he visits his grandson, thinking that the latter is also a pirate instead of the owner of a restaurant, and Mr. Krabs as such tries hard to disguise the Krusty Krab as a pirate ship during his visit.
  • Granny (voiced by Amy Poehler) is an elderly fish who appeared in "Have You Seen This Snail?". She has taken in many snails so she could eat them and take their shells, first by force-feeding them. She "adopts" Gary as her new victim, but the latter manages to escape.
  • Harold (voiced by Mr. Lawrence/Dee Bradley Baker/Clancy Brown) is a blue fish with a shark-like fin and spiked teeth. His character model is often used as an angry or troublemaking townsperson. His name is revealed in both "Have You Seen This Snail?" and in "Roller Cowards". His first appearance was in "Ripped Pants".
  • The Hash Slinging Slasher is a fictional fry cook created by Squidward to scare SpongeBob in "Graveyard Shift". According to him, the Slasher was SpongeBob's predecessor in Krusty Krab who replaced his hand with a spatula after it burned, was hit by a bus, and was fired on his funeral. Three signs are said to herald his coming: lights flickering on and off; unanswered phone ringing; and the bus that hit him arriving to deliver him.
  • Herb and Margie Star are Patrick's parents. Their identities are temporarily taken by another starfish couple, Marty and Janet (voiced by Susan Boyajian) in "I'm With Stupid". In "Rule of Dumb", it is revealed that Herb is a brother of Gary's father, Sluggo, making Patrick and Gary first cousins.
  • Jack Kahuna Laguna (voiced by Johnny Depp) is a legendary human-like surfer who appears in "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One". He teaches SpongeBob and his friends how to surf so they can go back home and fend off from a legendary tidal wave known as the Big One.
  • Jim (voiced by Patton Oswalt) is the Krusty Krab's original fry cook, as revealed in "The Original Fry Cook". His cooking is legendary throughout Bikini Bottom, and he is shown to be an even better chef than SpongeBob. Jim left the Krusty Krab after Mr. Krabs declined to provide him with a higher salary.
  • Lord Royal Highness (voiced by David Bowie) is the king of Atlantis in "SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis". He invites SpongeBob and his friends for a visit to Atlantis after they find the lost piece of the coin, but eventually regrets it since they (especially Patrick) end up popping the longest living bubble accidentally with a camera flash.
  • Mama Tentacles (voiced by Rodger Bumpass) is Squidward's elderly mother. In earlier episodes, she only appears as hallucinations tormenting Squidward in "Fools in April" and "Ghost Host", but she later appears in person in "Krusty Towers", where she is shown to live in a moai-shaped house like Squidward but with a curly hair-like structure on its roof and earring-like balls hanging from the sides.
  • Master Udon (voiced by Pat Morita) is an old karate master who appears in "Karate Island". He is actually a scammer who wants people to invest in his condominium project, disguising it as the "King of Karate" crowning that he presents to SpongeBob.
  • The Moth (voiced by Mark Hamill) is a supervillain moth and an enemy of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy who appeared in "Night Light". Even though he is minuscule, he has the strength to carry both SpongeBob's house and a lighthouse.
  • Nat Peterson (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker/Tom Kenny) is a male yellow fish that is a common background character on the show, often seen as a bus driver. His last name is revealed in "Missing Identity" and his first name is revealed in "Plankton's Regular", in which Karen pays him to become the Chum Bucket's first regular customer.
  • Nicholas Withers (voiced by Alton Brown) is the presenter of the popular lifestyle television show, House Fancy. He is pending on an award for Best Architecture during the episode that features Squilliam's house; he eventually gives it to Squidward due to the "creative" design of his ruined house.
  • Officer Nancy (voiced by Sirena Irwin/Jill Talley) and Officer John (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker/Thomas F. Wilson/Mr. Lawrence) are a pair of police officer fish in Bikini Bottom. They are committed to their jobs but often arrest or punish characters for insignificant reasons like littering or having no front license plate.
  • Painty the Pirate (voiced by Patrick Pinney and Peter Shukoff) is the painting of a pirate that appears during the opening theme at the beginning of each episode. Peter Shukoff voiced Painty once for a scene involving a rap battle in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
  • Princess Mindy (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) is King Neptune's daughter. She is Patrick's love interest. She is a motherly and friendly person and a very good friend of SpongeBob and Patrick. Her only appearance was in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
  • Queen Amphitrite (voiced by Victoria Beckham/Lori Alan) is King Neptune's wife and Triton's mother. She is worried by her son's attitude of not wanting to inherit the throne.
  • Prince Triton (voiced by Sebastian Bach) is the teenage son of King Neptune who appeared in "The Clash of Triton". He initially wants to be a normal fish like everyone else, but his father convinces him otherwise.
  • The Sea Bear (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is a creature that appears in the episode "The Camping Episode". SpongeBob and Patrick try to convince Squidward that the sea bear exists, but Squidward refuses to believe in the creature until it attacks him repeatedly.
  • Sea Monster (voiced by Gene Simmons) is a lizard-like sea monster who appears in "20,000 Patties Under the Sea". After having slept for 79 years, he demands for SpongeBob and Patrick to sell him food in exchange for giant dollar bills.
  • Sergeant Roderick (voiced by Robin Sachs) is a strict drill sergeant who temporarily replaces Mrs. Puff as the teacher at boating school in "Mrs. Puff, You're Fired". He is said to be the best driving instructor in the sea, but even he cannot teach SpongeBob to drive successfully.
  • SpongeBuck SquarePants, Pecos Patrick, Hopalong Tentacles, William Krabs, Polene Puff, and Dead Eye Plankton (voiced by Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Mary Jo Catlett, and Mr. Lawrence) are the main characters' wild west ancestors who appear in "Pest of the West". They lived in the town of Bikini Gulch and frequented an old-fashioned bar version of the Krusty Krab called the Krusty Kantina.
  • SpongeGar, Patar, and Squog (voiced by Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, and Rodger Bumpass) are SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward's neolithic ancestors who appear in "Ugh". While still not being able to speak intelligibly, they are more advanced than the primitive ancestors in "SB-129" as they are shown to use stone tools and fire. Also appearing in the episode are Primitive Gary (voiced by Tom Kenny), Gary's gigantic ancestor and SpongeGar's pet, and Primitive Krabs (voiced by Clancy Brown), Mr. Krabs' tiny ancestor who repeatedly chants "money".
  • SpongeTron and Patron (voiced by Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke) are SpongeBob and Patrick's robotic descendants who appear in "SB-129". SpongeTron has 486 clones, each one named after a letter of the English alphabet from 2,000 years in the future, while Patron has two heads.
  • Squidly Tentacles, King Krabs, Princess Pearl, Dark Knight, Planktonamor, and Karen the Crystal Ball (voiced by Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Lori Alan, Carolyn Lawrence, Mr. Lawrence, and Jill Talley) are the medieval counterparts of the main characters who appear in "Dunces and Dragons". The present-day SpongeBob and Patrick are magically transported to their times and help save Princess Pearl from Planktonamor. Planktonamor additionally keeps a pet, the Dragon Jellyfish, who is a giant jellyfish with a mane and a tail.
  • Stanley SquarePants (voiced by Christopher Guest) is SpongeBob's cousin who appears solely in the episode "Stanley S. SquarePants". SpongeBob receives Stanley in a package sent by one of his uncles, who is relieved to have sent Stanley, since he would destroy anything he touches. True to this, despite SpongeBob trying to teach him, Stanley constantly destroys everything and almost makes SpongeBob lose his job.
  • The Tattletale Strangler (voiced by Thomas F. Wilson) is a criminal fish who appears in "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler". He is detained for repeatedly strangling someone and promises to strangle SpongeBob when the latter has him arrested. He escapes from jail and pretends to be a bodyguard to get close to SpongeBob, but SpongeBob's behavior annoys him to the point where he would rather be back in prison.
  • Tom (voiced by Mr. Lawrence) is a green fish who wears a purple shirt and serves as another generic character model for the show. He plays a heightened role in the episode "Chocolate with Nuts", in which he chases SpongeBob and Patrick for the chocolate they are selling.
  • The Warden (voiced by R. Lee Ermey) is the head prison warden of the Inferno Island prison, appearing in "The Inmates of Summer". His demeanor is a stereotype of a drill sergeant: strict, demanding, and always speaking in a loud tone.
  • What Zit Tooya (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is a middle-aged fish who appeared in "Good Ol' Whatshisname". He is the last customer whose name SpongeBob and Squidward need to learn as part of a contest held by Mr. Krabs. His name is a pun on "What's it to ya?", which causes confusion on Squidward's part.
  • The Yeti Crab is a crab who Mr. Krabs imagines for a story in "Yeti Krabs". The creature ends up being real and visits the Krusty Krab.

Reception[edit]

The characters of SpongeBob SquarePants have been well-received overall. The titular character SpongeBob has become very popular with children and adults. The character's popularity has spread from Nickelodeon's original demographic of two- to eleven-year-olds, to teenagers and adults.[22][23] The popularity of SpongeBob translated well into sales figures. In 2002, SpongeBob SquarePants dolls sold at a rate of 75,000 per week, which was faster than Tickle Me Elmo dolls were selling at the time.[23] SpongeBob has gained popularity in Japan, specifically with Japanese women. Nickelodeon's parent company Viacom purposefully targeted marketing at women in the country as a method of building the SpongeBob SquarePants brand. Skeptics initially doubted that SpongeBob could be popular in Japan as the character's design is very different from already popular designs for Hello Kitty and Pikachu.[24] However, the characters have also attracted some negative reception, including SpongeBob himself, who was listed as number four on AskMen's Top 10: Irritating '90s Cartoon Characters. Nevertheless, SpongeBob SquarePants was ranked ninth on TV Guide's top 50 cartoon characters.[25]

The show's characters have received recognition from celebrities and well-known figures in media. Barack Obama named SpongeBob his favorite television character in 2007 and admitted that SpongeBob SquarePants was "the show I watch with my daughters."[26][27][28] British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also said he watches the show with his children.[29] Sigourney Weaver and Bruce Willis were reported to be fans of the SpongeBob character in 2008.[23] Film critic A. O. Scott named Squidward, Mrs. Puff, and Sandy his favorite characters on the show in 2004.[30] American singer Pharrell Williams, who says he is a fan of the show, said that "Squidward is my favorite, though. If he was a human, I would hang out with him."[31] Fashion designer Peter Jensen designed a line of sweatshirts inspired by SpongeBob and called Mrs. Puff his "absolute favorite" character in an interview with Women's Wear Daily.[32] Peter Keepnews of The New York Times commended Patrick, calling him "a popular character, and the new episodes illustrate why: He is unfailingly enthusiastic, touchingly loyal and absolutely undeterred by his intellectual limitations. Hilariously voiced by Bill Fagerbakke, he is not just an endearing comic creation but a role model for idiots everywhere."[33]

Appearances in other media[edit]

The characters of SpongeBob SquarePants appeared in the 2004 theatrical film The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and its 2015 sequel. Both films feature the regular television cast and blend animated elements with live-action sequences. They have also been featured in a variety of associated merchandise, particularly video games; from 2001 to 2013, the SpongeBob franchise had multiple video games released each year, with the show's voice cast reprising their character roles for many titles.[34] Every main cast member with the exception of Clancy Brown has voiced their respective characters in each game that they appear; Brown's character Mr. Krabs is instead voiced by Joe Whyte in SuperSponge, Operation Krabby Patty, and Battle for Bikini Bottom and by Bob Joles in the Truth or Square game.

The SpongeBob characters have been featured at a variety of theme park attractions. In 2003, Kings Island announced plans to build the first SpongeBob-themed amusement park ride, a dark ride roller coaster titled "Mrs. Puff's Crash Course Boating School".[35] Plans were halted when Kings Island changed ownership, and the first ride featuring SpongeBob theming was instead "SpongeBob's Boatmobiles"—also based on Mrs. Puff's Boating School and opened in 2003—at California's Great America.[36] Amusement rides based on the characters have since been opened at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Dreamworld, Movie Park Germany, and Nickelodeon Universe. Two 4D films featuring 3-D models of the characters and a motion simulator experience, SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D and The Great Jelly Rescue, were sold to theme parks and aquariums worldwide in 2005 and 2013 respectively.[37]

Mascot costumes of the SpongeBob characters debuted at Nickelodeon Suites Resort in 2005 and have made regular appearances at Nickelodeon events since.[38] Plankton, Karen, and Gary are the only main characters who have never been realized as mascots;[39] at events, they are normally represented as puppets or statues instead. In December 2011, a parade of SpongeBob mascots and floats titled "SpongeBob ParadePants" opened at Sea World Australia.[40] In November 2017, a Broadway musical based on the show began touring. Unlike previous shows, the characters were not represented with mascot costumes but by actors wearing clothing inspired by the characters' designs.

Popular culture[edit]

The characters of SpongeBob SquarePants have appeared throughout popular culture. In 2007, the Amsterdam-based company Boom Chicago created a SpongeBob parody called "SpongeBob SquarePants in China", in which a stereotypically Chinese Patrick refuses to go to work and advocates freedom of speech, rights of leisure, and income.[41] During the same year, production company Camp Chaos created a SpongeBob parody titled SpongeBong HempPants, which features five of the series' characters parodied in the form of various drugs. The show was seen on VH1 and Comedy Central.[42] The series has received mixed reviews from television critics; Adam Finley of TV Squad believed the series sounded "hilarious on paper", but ultimately did not demonstrate its full potential.[42] SpongeBob and Patrick were also referenced in Phineas and Ferb, when the characters of the Disney show dug a hole and found a sponge and a seastar. SpongeBob and Patrick also have an appearance in the Disney show Good Luck Charlie when Charlie's parents have a pink square and a yellow star puppet and are performing a potty training show on a fake television set. SpongeBob has made some appearances in TV shows such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, Robot Chicken, Mad, The Loud House, South Park, Futurama, and The Cleveland Show. Wooldoor Sockbat from Comedy Central's Drawn Together is a parody of SpongeBob, and he even has theme music similar to the background music from SpongeBob.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Banks, pp. 8–9
  2. ^ a b Banks, p. 9
  3. ^ a b Hillenburg, Stephen (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment. 
  4. ^ a b "From Boy to Bob". Nick Mag Presents: SpongeBob SquarePants. Viacom International. June 2003. 
  5. ^ a b c Hillenburg, Stephen. (March 1, 2003). The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (The Case of the Sponge "Bob") (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment/Nickelodeon.
  6. ^ "What a Sponge!" (PDF). The Mini Page. Andrews McMeel Universal. July 12, 2015. 
  7. ^ Beck 2013, p. 84
  8. ^ Neuwirth, Allan (April 1, 2003). Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 50. ISBN 978-1581152692. Archived from the original on April 15, 2017. 
  9. ^ Encalada, Debbie (May 1, 2014). "How "SpongeBob Squarepants" Stayed Fresh and Subversive Over 15 Years". Complex. Verizon Hearst Media Partners. 
  10. ^ Bourbeau, Mary Ann (November 15, 2015). "Meet the voice behind a 'SpongeBob' character". Courier News. Gannett Company. 
  11. ^ Beck 2013, p. 105
  12. ^ Fain, David (September 1, 2000). SpongeBob SquarePants Trivia Book. Simon & Schuster. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-689-84018-0. 
  13. ^ a b c White, Peter (October 27, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants' creator Steve Hillenburg". TBI Vision. Informa Telecoms & Media. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  14. ^ Vincent Waller (April 25, 2017). "Vincent Waller on Twitter". Archived from the original on April 25, 2017. 
  15. ^ Walter Foster (January 1, 2002). How to Draw SpongeBob SquarePants. Walter Foster Publishing, Incorporated. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-1-56010-703-3. 
  16. ^ Neuwirth, Allan (2003). Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies. Allworth Press. p. 51. ISBN 1581152698. 
  17. ^ Wilson, Amy (February 12, 2002). "Stephen Hillenburg created the undersea world of SpongeBob". Orange County Register. (Subscription required (help)). 
  18. ^ Mary Jo Catlett as the voice of Mrs. Puff via behindthevoiceactors.com
  19. ^ L. A. Johnson (July 2, 2002). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' is soaking up viewers". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  20. ^ Glen Weldon; Michael Kantor. Superheroes!: Capes, cowls, and the creation of comic book culture. p. 167. 
  21. ^ "Patty Hype". SpongeBob SquarePants. 
  22. ^ Park, Michael Y. (2002-10-09). "SpongeBob HotPants?". Fox News Channel. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  23. ^ a b c Gary Strauss (May 17, 2002). "Life's good for SpongeBob". USA Today. Retrieved 2016-09-25. 
  24. ^ Kageyama, Yuri (2007-01-24). "SpongeBob Goes Trendy to Win Japan Fans". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  25. ^ Murphy, Ryan. "Top 10: Irritating '90s Cartoon Characters". AskMen. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  26. ^ Eng, Joyce (August 8, 2009). "What's on Obama's Must-See TV List?". TV Guide. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  27. ^ "From Bikini Bottom to pop icon; SpongeBob turns 10". Reuters. July 14, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Barack Obama Is A SpongeBob Fan". Media Bistro. November 26, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  29. ^ Bauder, David (July 13, 2009). "SpongeBob Turns 10 Valued At $8 Billion". The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  30. ^ Scott, A. O. (November 19, 2004). "Absorbency Plus Frivolity, a Blend the World Needs". The New York Times. 
  31. ^ Chang, Bee-Shyuan (February 23, 2012). "Dropping in on Oscar". The New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  32. ^ Marfil, Lorelei (February 17, 2017). "Nickelodeon, Viacom Tap Fashion Designers for SpongeBob Gold Capsule". Women's Wear Daily. Penske Media Corporation. 
  33. ^ Keepnews, Peter (February 19, 2007). "Lincoln? Washington? Nope. Patrick!". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  34. ^ Batchelor, James (October 12, 2017). "Nickelodeon to ramp up console offering, starting with The Loud House". GamesIndustry. Eurogamer. Retrieved November 12, 2017. 
  35. ^ Kupferman, Mark (September 8, 2004). "Paramount Parks Development Survey". Paramount Parks. Viacom International. Archived from the original on September 11, 2004. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  36. ^ "Ten New Nickelodeon Rides and Attractions For Paramount's Great America". Press Release. Ultimate Rollercoaster. 12 March 2003. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  37. ^ "Brand-New Entertainment Experiences with SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer Only at the Nick Hotel in Orlando". Business Wire. Berkshire Hathaway. April 24, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Nickelodeon Suites Resort Character Appearances". Nickelodeon Suites Resort. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014. 
  39. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (August 29, 2013). "SpongeBob Fan 'Shellabration' Headed to Universal Studios". Animation World Network. 
  40. ^ "Gold Coast Theme Parks Trade Brochure 2012". Gold Coast Attractions. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Official Boom Chicago "Back to Work!" page". Boomchicago.tv. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  42. ^ a b Finley, Adam (2007-01-01). "SpongeBong the banned". TV Squad. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 

Bibliography[edit]