Plankton (character)

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SpongeBob SquarePants character
Sheldon Plankton.png
First appearance "Plankton!"
Created by Stephen Hillenburg
Voiced by Mr. Lawrence
Species Copepod[1]
Gender Male
Occupation Owner and founder of the Chum Bucket (traded as: CB or CHUM)
Spouse(s) Karen

Sheldon James Plankton, or simply Plankton, is a fictional character in the Nickelodeon animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. Although usually an antagonist, he is frequently shown as a protagonist or an antihero. He is voiced by Doug Lawrence and first appeared in the episode "Plankton!" on July 31, 1999. Plankton was created and designed by Stephen Hillenburg. The character has also appeared in video games and other merchandise based on the series.

Role in SpongeBob SquarePants[edit]

Plankton is the nemesis, but former best friend, of Mr. Krabs.[2] He operates the Chum Bucket,[3] located directly across the street from Krabs' restaurant, the Krusty Krab.[4] The restaurant primarily sells chum, considered mostly inedible by the residents of Bikini Bottom, and as a result, his restaurant is a total commercial failure. His primary goal in the series is to put Krabs out of business (thus gaining a monopoly on the restaurant business) by stealing the "Krabby Patty formula", a secret recipe used to make the Krusty Krab's flagship sandwich; however, every attempt to do so has ultimately failed. The only time he has successfully stolen it and made perfect Krabby Patties to expand his business was in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, though this was short-lived. He is often stepped on while trying to leave the Krusty Krab with the formula. It has been stated that Mr. Krabs and Plankton were once best friends, but a dispute over the Krabby Patty recipe ended their friendship.[2]

A running gag throughout the series is the fact that Plankton is much smaller than the other main characters; he is easily stepped on and/or sent flying back to the Chum Bucket with a mere flick of the finger. Usually right after trying to steal the Krabby Patty Formula is another gag. His small size has led to him developing a Napoleon complex, which is occasionally manifested as a desire for global domination (the most prominent illustration of this is in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie). Another recurring joke in the series is that in the earliest episodes of the series, his catchphrase was "I went to college!" when Mr. Krabs was escorting him from the Krusty Krab, but in later episodes, it seems to have been dropped from the show.

Originally, Plankton was just a minor character in the early days of the show, which explains why he made such few appearances in episodes, but because he's appeared way more frequently in newer episodes, he is now classified as a major character. Also, it has become a debate among fans that he has become noticeably less evil and villain-like overtime, since Mr. Krabs's greed becomes much more obvious in an antagonistic way in newer episodes. Various episodes that involve Plankton aren't always about him trying to steal the Krabby Patty Formula, whereas almost all the newer episodes centered around Mr. Krabs are either about him committing criminal activities to make more money, or trying to make life miserable for Plankton. Episodes such as Plankton's Regular and One Coarse Meal are prime examples of this.

Even though he is considered to be the primary villain of the show, creator Stephen Hillenburg has stated that he and Mr. Krabs are considered to be the main antagonists of the show, with Mr. Krabs being highly respected because of his success despite his greed and tyrannic ways of making more money, and Plankton being frowned upon primarily due to his failure as a business owner.


Karen Plankton
SpongeBob SquarePants character
SpongeBob SquarePants Karen Plankton Promotional Image.png
First appearance "Plankton!"
Created by Stephen Hillenburg
Voiced by Jill Talley
Species Supercomputer
Gender Female
Occupation Plankton's W.I.F.E.
Spouse(s) Plankton

Sheldon Plankton is married to a supercomputer named Karen Plankton (voiced by Jill Talley). She is his Mark-3 Surplus Computer W.I.F.E. (both as an acronym for "Wired Integrated Female Electroencephalograph" and in the sense of a female spouse) [-O.-M.A.T.I.C.].[5] She appears to have her own sentient mind and enjoys putting him down, though it's shown that they love each other. She sometimes gets fed up with his antics and forbids him from returning home.[6] She tends to give Plankton most of his ideas to steal the Krabby Patty, but he usually takes them as his own ideas, and when he fails, he usually blames Karen.[7]


Plankton has been featured in various merchandises such as plush toys. In 2006, Ty Inc.'s Beanie Babies introduced a plush toy based on the character as part of the SpongeBob SquarePants series.[8][9][10]

Species of Plankton[edit]

Plankton is a Copepod. Copepods are a microscopic species of crustaceans that lives in the ocean floor, open ocean, freshwater habitats, sinkholes, etc. It was mentioned in one episode that Plankton is a protozoa but that is obviously false. Protozoans are single-celled organisms that usually don't have appendages, or antenna. Copepods, like Plankton, can have a singular (compound) eye. In the times that Plankton has gone into SpongeBob, he took SpongeBob's natural benefits for his own use without giving anything to SpongeBob. This is an allusion to reality because Copepods have been know to have parasitic behavior towards other sea creatures larger than itself.


  1. ^ "Plankton. A Thank You Would Be Nice - SpongeBob SquarePants - BBC Earth". BBC Earth. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Writers: Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, Mike Mitchell, Steven Banks, Tim Hill (April 13, 2007). "Friend or Foe". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 5. Episode 81. Nickelodeon. 
  3. ^ Writers: Ennio Torresan, Jr., Erik Wiese, Mr. Lawrence (July 31, 1999). "Plankton!". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 1. Episode 3b. Nickelodeon. 
  4. ^ Writers: Aaron Springer, Richard Pursel (March 19, 2009). "Komputer Overload". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 6. Episode 118b. Nickelodeon. 
  5. ^ Writers: Tom King, Luke Brookshier, Tim Hill (October 14, 2005). "Enemy In-Law". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 4. Episode 67a. Nickelodeon. 
  6. ^ Writers: Luke Brookshier, Nate Cash, Eric Shaw (March 3, 2008). "Krabby Road". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 6. Episode 101b. Nickelodeon. 
  7. ^ Writers: Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, Richard Pursel (July 18, 2009). "Chum Caverns". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 6. Episode 125b. Nickelodeon. 
  8. ^ "Ty Spongebob Squarepants Beanie Baby Sheldon J. Plankton". Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Sheldon J. Plankton". Ty Inc. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ "TY Beanie Baby - SHELDON J PLANKTON (SpongeBob Squarepants) (9 inch)". BB Toy Store. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 

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