SpongeBob is a sea sponge, but he is drawn to resemble a kitchen sponge, being rectangular and light yellow with a light olive-green outline. In earlier episodes, he is wider near the top and gets skinnier going further down. However, in the more recent episodes, he is more of a regular square shape. SpongeBob has large light blue eyes, a long, slightly curved nose, a large mouth with two prominent front buck teeth, dimples with three freckles on each cheek, and light olive-green pores. Although vaguely seen in the series, he has light yellow hair, as seen on his driver's license and in the episode "The Sponge Who Could Fly." However, in the episode "Krusty Krab Training Video," he did not have yellow hair, and instead had a simple strand of black hair.
He typically wears a white shirt with a scarlet-red tie, black leather shoes with white shoelaces, white socks with blue and red stripes, and brown rectangular pants with a black belt (the entire outfit is sometimes referred to as his "pants," hence his name). While working at the Krusty Krab, he wears a tall, white hat with a small blue anchor on it as a uniform. SpongeBob usually sleeps in his underwear, and at other times, pajamas (beginning with season 5). However, he occasionally sleeps with his entire outfit on, which was more common in the show's earlier seasons.
Though SpongeBob has always been voiced by Tom Kenny, his voice has changed over the course of the series; his voice is lower than normal in the pilot episode and after the the first movie, his voice gets slightly higher-pitched. In season 8, his voice gets lower-pitched once again.
SpongeBob is a clueless, abnormal, immature, fun-loving, and hyperactive person with a happy-go-lucky personality. He is extremely determined and will often stop at nothing to accomplish a task. He is also somewhat dramatic to the people who are kind to him: for example, to the mailfish. He is also over-confident. Sometimes, though, he shows his devious side when trying to get Mr. Krabs and Plankton to work together. He sometimes tends to make mountains out of molehills, such as losing his name tag.
SpongeBob is very kind-hearted and innocent, and very rarely acts openly mean to anyone, even those who find him an annoyance and act cruel to him. He is a very selfless and loyal person, especially towards those close to him. His selfless nature is most notably shown in "Best Day Ever," where he sacrifices his "perfect day" to help his friends. Despite his well-meaning intentions, SpongeBob's actions often annoy and cause trouble for those around him, most notably his next-door neighbor, Squidward Tentacles.
SpongeBob can become scared easily and usually panics when frightened. He is afraid of the dark  and clowns . He also hates hot sauce. Occasionally, SpongeBob is too ignorant to notice impending danger and his unworldly thinking may put himself or others in peril. He also cannot detect lies or malice information as easy as the other characters, mainly due to his naive nature.
SpongeBob's innocence also makes him overly trusting and very gullible, and he is easily manipulated by people who intend to use and/or harm him, such as Squidward, Mr. Krabs, and Plankton; most noticeably, he is always easily fooled by Plankton no matter how bizarre or obvious his disguises are. Even though he is generally good-natured and easygoing, when frustrated and angered, SpongeBob can be sarcastic, rude, and "foul-mouthed" to his friends, even Mr. Krabs, whom he treats as a father figure. Ironically, Squidward is the only character whom SpongeBob never insults when he is angry, with the exception of the episodes "Can You Spare a Dime?" and "Breath of Fresh Squidward."
Despite his overall kindness, SpongeBob occasionally shows a lack of empathy for others and thus forces people into situations against their will. For example, in the episode "Rodeo Daze," he kidnaps the Bikini Bottomites with bubbles in presuasion for them to save Sandy from a rodeo. Additionally, in the episode "A SquarePants Family Vacation," he sends his friends letters promising that everything they love will be at his house, only for it to be a hoax and a plea for them to view his slideshow.
Although SpongeBob has several friends, and many of the citizens of Bikini Bottom often treat him quite friendly, most, if not all, citizens of the city have been shown to have some degree of dislike for him. In the episode "Gone," it is shown that a holiday called "National No SpongeBob Day" has been started by the citizens of Bikini Bottom. As its name suggests, it is an entire day dedicated to getting away from SpongeBob, where the people leave Bikini Bottom for the day. Even Patrick goes, stating that everyone needs at least one day away from SpongeBob's laughter. In the ceremony, they build a giant wooden effigy of SpongeBob, burn it down, dance on the ashes, and depart Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob is more honored than insulted by this, as he was the "inspiration" for the holiday.
SpongeBob is intelligent and his antagonism does not excuse him at all, including his annoyance.
In "Pizza Delivery," he and Squidward get lost in the desert while delivering a pizza. They both are on the verge of starvation; however, SpongeBob repeatedly refuses to let Squidward eat the pizza even though they would both die of starvation without it.
In "Employee of the Month," he gets very worried that Squidward would win the Employee of the Month award instead of him, hence he tries to sabotage Squidward (ironically making him try harder to get it, as he did not even care about it in the beginning). Finally, they both are exhausted and call a truce. However, once at work, they destroy the Krusty Krab from their "work." It then explodes from making too many Krabby Patties, thus customers pick them up and eat them for free.
In "Squidward, the Unfriendly Ghost," he sends Squidward up in the sky even though Squidward said no more favors. However, this is because he thought that Squidward was still dead, due to his naive nature.
In "Walking Small," he ruthlessly takes what he wants and accidentally drives everyone away from Goo Lagoon, but he was being manipulated by Plankton the whole time, so it technically is not his fault.
In "Pressure," he, along with Patrick, Mr. Krabs, and Squidward make fun of Sandy when she cannot do things that they as sea creatures can, due to being a land squirrel.
In "Squirrel Jokes," he makes fun of Sandy by making jokes of her species. Even though he promises Sandy that he will make no more squirrel jokes, he breaks this promise. He also tells her that people would be laughing "with" her, but they would actually laugh at her. However, this stops once Sandy starts acting dumb and injures SpongeBob.
In "Sailor Mouth," he uses foul language, along with Patrick (mostly sounding like dolphin chirps).
In "Just One Bite," he forced Squidward to eat a Krabby Patty by handcuffing himself to Squidward.
In "Rodeo Daze," he kidnaps the Bikini Bottomites who would not help him using Superb Bubble to help him save Sandy from a rodeo.
In "The Other Patty," he creates a new restaurant called The Flabby Patty which proves to be better than the Krabby Patty. He forces Mr. Krabs and Plankton to work together (much to their dismay) to get the recipe. When they finally do, they find out it was not a real recipe. SpongeBob reveals that he is the one who created the Flabby Patty just to get them to work together, which gets him chased by an angry Mr. Krabs and Plankton.
In "A SquarePants Family Vacation," he sends letters to his friends promising that everything they love will be at his house, which turns out to be a hoax and a plea for them to view his slideshow.
In "Nasty Patty," he helps Mr. Krabs "poison" the health inspector and bury him when they thought he was dead.
In "Bummer Vacation," SpongeBob, thinking that he is being replaced by Patrick as the Krusty Krab's fry cook, has an insanity spree and goes after Patrick, showing signs that wants to eat him alive. It is later revealed that SpongeBob made Patrick watch static on a TV screen.
In the episode "The Abrasive Side," SpongeBob gets an abrasive side to make him more assertive. However, this causes him to not only chase away his friends, but also end up causing his grandmother to also get one.
In "Karate Choppers," Mr. Krabs tells SpongeBob to stop karate for good. However, when he tells Sandy she does not believe him, and does karate around him. Krabs then fires SpongeBob even though he was not the one doing karate. However, Sandy then explains that she did not listen when he told her.
In "The Bully," Flats the Flounder repeatedly threatens to beat up SpongeBob. However, when he finally does, he discovers that SpongeBob is immune because he is an invertebrate. Flats tries for days until finally (at Boating School) collapsing from exhaustion. SpongeBob then gives a speech about it while making a fist gesture. Hence, Mrs. Puff thinks he had beaten him up intentionally, thus screaming "I'm going to kick your butt!"
In "New Student Starfish," Patrick comes with SpongeBob to boating school, in which he writes a letter calling Mrs. Puff a "big fat meany" and hands it to SpongeBob. Mrs. Puff then takes away one of SpongeBob's good noodle stars on the Good Noodle Board even though it is Patrick's fault.
In "Party Pooper Pants," SpongeBob is locked out of his house while throwing a party, hence he tries to break in, but is caught by the police. He then explains that it is his house and that he was locked out while throwing a party. However, he is then arrested for not inviting the twocops even though it is legal not to invite the police to a party.
In "Stanley S. SquarePants," SpongeBob's cousin works with him at the Krusty Krab (as Squidward moved away); he breaks many things, which SpongeBob claims are his fault. However, eventually SpongeBob cannot take it anymore and explains it is Stanley's fault.
In "Stuck in the Wringer," SpongeBob gets stuck in his bathroom wringer and then Patrick glues him so that he can be stuck forever. He cannot work, eat ice cream, or play the games at the carnival with the wringer on. After yelling at Patrick for what the forever glue did, he gets scolded by the townspeople for it.
In "Keep Bikini Bottom Beautiful," a piece of garbage falls off a statue of Squidward (made of garbage), so a cop gives Squidward a ticket for it even though it fell off on its own.
Despite his child-like innocence and naïvete, SpongeBob does, in fact, have a history of criminal offenses and being imprisoned. However, due to his naïve and gullible nature, a lot of these crimes have been committed unknowingly or through the manipulation of antagonists, mainly Squidward and Plankton; others have been committed with malicious intentions however. SpongeBob's criminal record includes, but is not limited to:
Reckless driving: An ongoing plot point is SpongeBob failing his driver's test due to his inability to drive safely. His poor driving skills have caused him to run over pedestrians, rapidly switch lanes, drive on the sidewalk, crash into buildings and property, harm his passengers, and lastly damage his vehicle. Despite all this, SpongeBob is never arrested or charged for his dangerous driving; instead, Mrs. Puff is, who the authorities believe is failing to educate him.
Unlicensed driving: In "Pizza Delivery," SpongeBob uses Mr. Krabs' pizza delivery boatmobile despite not having a driver's license. In "Tutor Sauce," SpongeBob takes Mr. Krabs' advice to drive without a license.
Stalking/Harassment: In the post-movie seasons, SpongeBob and Patrick have a frequent tendency to harass Squidward and disrespect his privacy by following him around, with good examples being the episodes "Choir Boys," "Squid's Visit," and "Cephalopod Lodge." According to "House Fancy," Squidward has reported SpongeBob to the authorities for spying on him through his window.
Intrusion/Trespassing: SpongeBob and Patrick have a frequent tendency to enter Squidward's house without his consent, which reaches its epitome in "Good Neighbors" and becomes a plot point of the said episode. Additionally, in "Survival of the Idiots," he and Patrick enter Sandy's treedome during the winter, with little regard to the "Keep Out" sign on her door. In "The Thing," after getting caught by the SWAT team, SpongeBob and Patrick hide in the sewers. SpongeBob also enters the sewers with Squidward in "The Sewers of Bikini Bottom," although they did it to retrieve the cash register, so this can be justified.
Hijacking: In "Sandy's Rocket," SpongeBob and Patrick hijack Sandy's spaceship and use it for their own purpose.
Kidnapping: In "Sandy's Rocket," SpongeBob and Patrick go around capturing everyone in Bikini Bottom and trapping them in the spaceship, believing that the entire population is formed of aliens. In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IIII," SpongeBob shrinks the nearly the entire population of Bikini Bottom and puts them in a jar against their will. In "Rodeo Daze," SpongeBob abducts all the townspeople into his house using bubbles.
Identity theft: In "Opposite Day," SpongeBob impersonates Squidward and claims his house as his property, intent on annoying the real estate agent and preventing Squidward from moving out of town.
Property damage: In "Employee of the Month," SpongeBob destroys all of Squidward's alarm clocks in hopes to get him up late and sabotage his Employee of the Month award; at the end of the episode, his and Squidward's excessive Krabby Patty-making causes the restaurant to explode. In "Christmas Who?," SpongeBob and Patrick chop down Squidward's coral tree. In "Squid on Strike," SpongeBob takes Squidward's metaphor literally and demolishes nearly the entirety of the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob's reckless driving has been the result of property damage many times. In "The Krusty Plate," SpongeBob's usage of the Spot-Master 6000 leads to the Krusty Krab disintegrating. In "Krab Borg," he and Squidward destroy many of Mr. Krabs' prized possessions that were expensive. In "Gullible Pants," SpongeBob is lead to believe that harming the Krusty Krab will enhance its quality, so he throws bricks at its property.
False imprisonment: In "Employee of the Month," SpongeBob sets up many traps on Squidward all while trying to sabotage his Employee of the Month Award. In "Shuffleboarding," he and Patrick, while dressed as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, go around arresting citizens for actions that do not count as criminal offenses (e.g. chewing gum too loudly, being too old).
Public nudity: In "Nature Pants," SpongeBob removes his clothes in order to embrace the nature of living with the jellyfish. In "Pranks a Lot," SpongeBob and Patrick remove their pants in public to use the invisible spray since it stains clothes. In "All That Glitters," the fancy spatula he wants is worth as much as his pants, so SpongeBob takes them off and sells them in exchange for the spatula; he spends the rest of the episode naked. In "The Incredible Shrinking Sponge," SpongeBob shrinking results in nudity.
Burglary: In "Hall Monitor," SpongeBob enters the window of a couple's house and disturbs them, all while acting as the hall monitor. In "The Secret Box," SpongeBob breaks into Patrick's rock at night, intent on stealing his secret box. In "Mid-Life Crustacean," SpongeBob, Patrick, and Mr. Krabs break into Betsy Krabs' house to steal her underpants. In "The Thing," SpongeBob and Patrick break into the zoo at night to free "Smelly" from his cage, although this act was done with innocent intentions since Squidward got misplaced. In "Safe Deposit Krabs," he and Patrick break into the local bank at night to free Mr. Krabs from the safe vault; again, they had innocent intentions, so this act can be justified.
Aiding in crime: In "Walking Small," SpongeBob assists Plankton in driving the attendants at Goo Lagoon away to make an unauthorized development to its property. However, this was done out of manipulation by Plankton, and regrets his actions after learning Plankton's motive, so this may not count on SpongeBob's criminal record.
Attempted theft: In addition to breaking into his house, SpongeBob attempts to steal Patrick's box in "The Secret Box."
Disturbing the peace: In "Life of Crime," SpongeBob and Patrick make intentionally disturbing and crazy noises in the middle of the road upon discovering their new identities as "criminals," with the townspeople mistaking them as street performers. In "Sing a Song of Patrick," he and Patrick put a record player on the antenna of a radio station and blast the song "I Wrote This" throughout the entire city. This causes the town displeasure and leads them to form an angry mob. In "Don't Wake Patrick," SpongeBob blasts the sound of his alarm clock to awaken Patrick from sleepwalking, but instead manages to cause car alarms to go off, worms to bark, and wake up the entire townspeople.
Unauthorized alteration to property: In "Christmas Who?," SpongeBob and Patrick add Christmas decorations to Squidward's house despite his objections.
Unlicensed surgery: In "Dying for Pie," SpongeBob performs open-heart surgery on Squidward despite not having a license, leading to disastrous "treatment."
Ditching: In "Hooky," SpongeBob is encouraged by Patrick to ditch work during his shift, which causes the unsupervised grill to produce mass amounts of smoke. In "Ditchin'," SpongeBob ditches boating school to attend the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy meet and greet, which affects his driver's education and eventually gets Mrs. Puff arrested.
Violation of the Pure Food & Drug Act: In "Nasty Patty," SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs create a tainted burger to poison the health inspector. In "Gullible Pants," SpongeBob serves food with his bare feet, spreading germs onto it. In "Ink Lemonade," SpongeBob and Patrick sell Squidward's ink to the public and pass it off as a beverage.
Eavesdropping: In "The Pink Purloiner,"SpongeBob gives a teddy bear with a microphone to Patrick in an attempt to hear him reveal his secret through the microphone; SpongeBob, unbeknownst to Patrick, is using a pair of headphones hooked up to the bear to hear Patrick's secrets.
Staying in a store past closing time: In "Toy Store of Doom," SpongeBob and Patrick stay in Toy Barrel past its open hours, hiding in a dollhouse so as not to be caught by the security guard.
Freeing zoo animals: In "The Thing," SpongeBob and Patrick break into the zoo at night to free "Smelly" from his cage. However, since Squidward was mistaken for an animal and misplaced there, this crime can be justified.
Cruelty to animals: In "The Great Snail Race," SpongeBob overexerts Gary in preparation for the following snail race. This causes extreme discomfort to Gary and he eventually collapses on his way to the finish line. However, SpongeBob eventually noticed the error in his way. In "A Pal for Gary," while Gary is being violently attacked and nearly eaten by Puffy Fluffy, SpongeBob takes no action and instead accuses Gary of harassing Puffy.
False advertising: In "Chocolate with Nuts," as a means to boost their business profits, SpongeBob and Patrick spread lies about the chocolate bars they're selling to their customers, claiming them to have special abilities. In "Ink Lemonade," he and Patrick sell Squidward's ink to the public, under the guise of "lemonade."
Hoarding: In "Sentimental Sponge," SpongeBob develops a nostalgic sentiment for his garbage and fills every room in his house with it. The trash eventually finds its way into Squidward's house, leading him to call the sanitation police and condemn SpongeBob's house.
Threatening public health: In "Gullible Pants," Squidward tells SpongeBob that trashing the Krusty Krab will attract more business, so he does just that, to no avail.
Worker's right violation: In "Can You Spare a Dime?," SpongeBob disrespects his boss' authority by holding him by the neck and scolding him. In "Bummer Vacation," SpongeBob pulls off several attempts to gain access to his job despite being on vacation.
Misuse/Abuse of emergency services: In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II," SpongeBob abuses the power of the conch signal by using to get Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to do trivial things for him like opening a jar of mayonnaise.
SpongeBob has been shown to have numerous extraordinary abilities and attributes over the course of the series (even though physically weak).
Soft pliable body: Due to his soft, pliable frame, he is capable of shapeshifting, has some degree of invulnerability, being able to absorb any type of physical impact, shown most notably in the episode "The Bully."
Regeneration: It is shown that he can quickly regenerate parts of his body that are injured or removed.
Boneless: SpongeBob is usually shown to be boneless (sea sponges being invertebrates). However, in some episodes, such as "I Had an Accident," bones are shown on his X-rays. He also has bones when his skin is ripped off in "Atlantis SquarePantis" and "The Splinter."
Absorbent: Being a sponge, he is also absorbent, and can expand his body by absorbing liquids. When he cries, he often re-absorbs his tears. An example being in "The Bully" when Flats the Flounder kept on hitting him, but SpongeBob just absorbed all of his blows. Also, in "I Had An Accident," he filter feeds through his holes, as he is a sponge.
Singing and nose-playing: SpongeBob is shown to possess a fantastic singing voice. He uses his nose as a flute, in which he is very talented. He is also the lead singer in "Band Geeks." Later, he uses his nose flute in "Best Day Ever" to drive away the nematodes from the Krusty Krab. His nose flute is notably played as a closing note of the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song.
Fry cooking: SpongeBob has a job cooking Krabby Patties at the Krusty Krab.
Survival skills: In "To Save a Squirrel," SpongeBob and Patrick almost eat each other to survive.
Bubble blowing: SpongeBob can perform extraordinary moves with bubbles, most notably exhibited in "Bubblestand." It is considered along with jellyfishing as his and Patrick's favorite hobby.
Driving: He drives perfectly in various episodes, but drives recklessly on other episodes, which are in appearances of Mrs. Puff and her boating school.
Karate: He trains in karate perfectly and rarely mixes them up.
Destruction: Although, he does not know it and thanks to his poor driving skills, SpongeBob is actually skilled at Demolition Derbies. This is shown in "Demolition Doofus," as SpongeBob (who uses the name "Le Squish") manages to defeat five other competitors (also surviving against Mrs. Puff).
SpongeBob's life has most usually been in good luck, except on his boating school driving tests, where he gets himself and others (usually Mrs. Puff) injured or almost injured from his reckless driving. He also gets injuries from extreme sports with Sandy and the Radicals, Patrick, or Larry. He also almost freezes to death in "Frozen Face-Off." He almost does not make it against The Big One in "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One." He is almost eaten and starves to death in "To Save a Squirrel." In "I Had an Accident," SpongeBob does not concentrate on sand-boarding and cracked his behind; the doctor says he was one of the lucky ones to survive.
Creation and development
Stephen Hillenburg intended to create a series about an over-optimistic sponge who annoys other characters. Hillenburg compared the concept to Laurel and Hardy and Pee-wee Herman. As he drew the character, he decided that a "squeaky-clean square" (like a kitchen sponge) fits the concept.
The first concept sketch portrayed the character as wearing a red hat with a green base and a white business shirt with a tie. SpongeBob's look gradually progressed to brown pants that were used in the final design. SpongeBob was designed to be a kid-like character who was goofy and optimistic in a style similar to that made famous by Jerry Lewis.
Originally, the character was to be named "SpongeBoy," but the name was already in use. This was discovered after voice acting for the original seven-minute pilot was recorded in 1997. The Nickelodeon legal department discovered that the name was already in use for a mop product. Upon finding this out, Hillenburg decided that the character's given name still had to contain "Sponge" so viewers would not mistake the character for a "Cheese Man." Hillenburg decided to use the name "SpongeBob." He chose "SquarePants" as a family name as it referred to the character's square shape and it had a "nice ring to it." The "Cheese Man" mistake was used three times, CheeseHead (or CheeseBoy by the citizens of New Kelp City) was used as SpongeBob's fake first name in "WhoBob WhatPants?" Nancy Suzy Fish says, "Oh, so now the talking cheese is going to preach to us" in "Band Geeks."
Although SpongeBob's driver's license says his birth date is July 14, 1986, which would make the character 12 (nearly 13) years old at the time of his debut appearance on May 1, 1999, Hillenburg joked that he is fifty in "sponge years." He explained that SpongeBob actually has no specific age, but that he is old enough to be on his own and still be going to boating school. The decision to have SpongeBob attend a boat driving school was made due to a request from Nickelodeon that the character attend a school.
SpongeBob is voiced by veteran voice actor Tom Kenny. Kenny previously worked with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life, and when Hillenburg created SpongeBob SquarePants, he approached Kenny to voice the character. Hillenburg used Kenny's and other actors' personalities to help create the personality of SpongeBob.
The voice of SpongeBob was originally used by Kenny for a background character present in a crowd scene in Rocko's Modern Life. Kenny forgot the voice initially as he created it only for that single use. Hillenburg, however, remembered it when he was coming up with SpongeBob and used a video clip of the episode to remind Kenny of the voice. Kenny says that SpongeBob's high-pitched laugh was specifically aimed at being unique, stating that they wanted an annoying laugh in the tradition of Popeye and Woody Woodpecker.
In SpongeBob SquarePants broadcast in non-English languages, the voice actors dubbing SpongeBob's voice use Tom Kenny's rendition of the character as a starting point, but also add unique elements. For example, the French version has SpongeBob with a slight Daffy Duck-style lisp.
He lives with his pet snail Gary in a large pineapple-shaped house on 124 Conch Street, Bikini Bottom. His next-door neighbor, Squidward Tentacles, who lives in an Easter Island head, hates SpongeBob and is constantly annoyed by his antics. SpongeBob is oblivious to this, and believes Squidward to be his friend. Beside Squidward's house is the home of SpongeBob's best friend, Patrick Star, who lives under a rock.
SpongeBob works at the Krusty Krab, Bikini Bottom's most popular restaurant, where he is a fry cook and prepares all food served at the restaurant, most notably Krabby Patties. The first episode of the series depicts SpongeBob applying for and being hired to this job. He says that it has been his lifelong dream to join the Krusty Crew, and that only now is he "ready." When he applies for the job, Squidward and Mr. Krabs, wanting no part of him, send him on a fool's errand for a "hydro-dynamic spatula with port and starboard attachments and turbo drive." While he is out searching for one, several hundred hungry anchovies arrive and overwhelm Squidward and Mr. Krabs. SpongeBob soon returns, having actually found a hydrodynamic spatula, and saves their lives by feeding the anchovies, showing off his amazing cooking skills in the process.
SpongeBob's house is an orange pineapple with fully furnished windows and doors, and has a gas pipe. When he first moved to Bikini Bottom, he viewed many different houses, but none seemed to his liking. Just as he was about to give up, a pineapple from a boat above the water falls into the sea and lands onto the space that was Squidward’s garden where Squidward was still gardening. He loves the house and buys it, leaving Squidward in misery by losing his garden and having SpongeBob living next to him.
SpongeBob is not only extremely good at his job, being able to produce a Krabby Patty within seconds, but has a strong passion and an abnormal love for it; something of a workaholic, he enjoys his job more than any other activity, and is saddened whenever he cannot be at work. He is also obsessed with Krabby Patties themselves; on numerous occasions, he has proclaimed them the best food in the world, and in "Just One Bite" and "Shuffleboarding," he is shocked and horrified to see one thrown away. He is apparently very good at his job because he is the "Vice Assistant General Manager of Certain Things". He also has been shown making a perfect Krabby Patty on his first try when he was a baby.
SpongeBob's skills as a fry cook could accurately be described as superhuman; in episodes such as "Help Wanted" and "Employee of the Month," he is seen making them at rates of hundreds or even thousands per minute. He has won 374 consecutive Employee of the Month awards at the Krusty Krab. In "Friend or Foe," it is shown that SpongeBob, as an infant, made a perfect patty on his first attempt. In "Neptune's Spatula," he is able to pull the golden spatula from the grease, making him the "chosen one" of King Neptune. In that same episode, it is shown that the burgers made by Neptune himself are horrible compared to SpongeBob's.
Squidward, the restaurant's only other employee, runs the cashier and takes orders. Squidward is the polar opposite of SpongeBob; he hates his job (as well as the Krusty Krab itself) and performs it poorly. The employer of SpongeBob and Squidward, Eugene H. Krabs, is extremely greedy, selfish, and abusive of his employees. He pays them extremely poorly, far below legal minimum wage, and is unhealthily obsessed with money. Despite this, SpongeBob is unquestioning of Mr. Krabs and looks up to him as an authority figure.
While not working, SpongeBob spends much of his time playing with his best friend, Patrick Star. Like SpongeBob, Patrick is childish, moronic, and fun-loving. The two have known each other since their early childhood, and are members of the "Best Friends Forever Club."
Their usual activities include jellyfishing, bubble blowing, and various others. Their antics are of constant annoyance to their neighbor, Squidward, on numerous occasions, who has been put in harm's way as a direct result of their actions. Despite Squidward openly hating SpongeBob and Patrick, they are completely oblivious to this and believe they are his best friends. SpongeBob and Patrick's favorite superheroes are Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, who they (Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy) convinced to come out of retirement.
SpongeBob's other best friend is a squirrel from Texas named Sandy Cheeks, who wears a special suit and helmet to survive underwater. SpongeBob first met Sandy when he saw her wrestling a giant clam, which he helped her defeat. Sandy then invited SpongeBob to her home, an airtight terrarium known as the treedome, and SpongeBob, not knowing what air is, accepts. When he comes to the treedome and realizes that there is no water, he begins drying up and attempts to survive without water, telling himself that he does not need it and that "Water is for quitters!" Eventually, however, he gives in and starts panicking. Later, Sandy gives SpongeBob and Patrick bowls of water to wear over their heads, which they typically wear whenever they visit the treedome.
Unlike Patrick, Sandy is very intelligent, both technologically and practically, but is tolerant of SpongeBob's stupidity and enjoys his company, and in some episodes, it is implied that Sandy has even raised SpongeBob's intelligence considerably. They enjoy doing extreme sports together, most notably karate. SpongeBob's skill in karate is shown to vary considerably between episodes. At times, he equals and even outmatches Sandy in skill, while at other times he is incompetent to the point where Sandy can send him flying a considerable distance with a single punch; in "Karate Island," Sandy openly states that her karate skills are better than SpongeBob's by "a country mile."
SpongeBob attends Mrs. Puff's Boating School, where he is periodically tested for his driver's license. However, he becomes extremely nervous and reckless when behind the wheel of a boat, and has consistently failed his test countless times, often injuring Mrs. Puff and/or damaging the school and/or the entirety of Bikini Bottom in the process. According to the episode "Mrs. Puff, You're Fired," SpongeBob has failed the exam 1,258,056 times, and is the only creature in the history of the school to fail the test. In that same episode, Mrs. Puff describes SpongeBob as "unteachable."
Despite his inability to drive a boatmobile properly, SpongeBob has been shown to be able to drive/ride various other things capably, including a rock, a rocket ship, a sandwich car, and a submarine. SpongeBob claims that he does know how to drive, but simply panics behind the wheel and cannot concentrate. In "Mrs. Puff, You're Fired," SpongeBob receives extremely good training from Mrs. Puff's very tough military-esque replacement and learns how to drive capably, but can only do so while blindfolded due to the teacher's strict drills and very specific teaching methods.
SpongeBob has many relatives, most notably his parents, who appear in several episodes. Unlike SpongeBob, who has the appearance of a kitchen sponge, most of SpongeBob's relatives, while still cartoony, resemble actual sea sponges, being round in shape and brownish in color.
In "SB-129," a robotic descendant of SpongeBob named SpongeTron is seen, as well as a primitive ancestor. "Ugh" features a caveman version of SpongeBob known as SpongeGar. SpongeGar is distinctly different from the primitive sponge seen in "SB-129," being more evolved and closer to his modern counterpart. "Pest of the West" features SpongeBuck SquarePants; an ancestor who saved Dead Eye Gulch in what is now Bikini Bottom from Dead Eye Plankton in 1882.
For the majority of the series, SpongeBob takes the job of fry cook in the Krusty Krab. Acting like a workaholic, he treats his job seriously and with dignity. Primarily, he works as the janitor and fry cook, but occasionally takes the role of the cashier and manager.
SpongeBob has a passionate dedication to his job at the Krusty Krab and strongly refuses to let it go. He even views closing time as the saddest part of the day and gleefully embraces the 24-hour business of the restaurant in the episodes "Graveyard Shift" and "Fear of a Krabby Patty."
His passion for his job often leads to stages of depression and boredom when isolated from it, and hinders his willingness to give other occupations a chance. In "Bummer Vacation," he pulls off many desperate attempts to return to his job, and is reminded of the Krusty Krab with every activity he tries to do while on vacation. In "Welcome to the Chum Bucket," he is briefly employed at the Chum Bucket, but fails to do any successful work. In "Model Sponge," SpongeBob seemingly hears he was to be let go, but has mistaken himself as the person to vacate his current life. Throughout his unemployed life during the episode, he tries to apply for many jobs, but is not qualified for them, as he is meant for the fry cook role at the Krusty Krab. His most notable obsession with his job is shown in "SpongeBob You're Fired," in which, after being fired by Mr. Krabs over a nickel, SpongeBob enters a long stage of depression and is not cured until Sandy advises him to find a new job. Taking her advice, SpongeBob applies for as a job as the fry cook at fourdifferentrestaurants, only to get fired each time for making food in the form of a Krabby Patty.
Throughout the run of SpongeBob SquarePants, the title character has become very popular with both children and adults.
The character's popularity has spread from Nickelodeon's original demographic of two to eleven-year-olds, to teenagers and adults, including college campuses and celebrities such as Sigourney Weaver and Bruce Willis.Salon.com indicates that the unadulterated innocence of SpongeBob is what makes the character so appealing. SpongeBob has also become popular with gay men, despite Stephen Hillenburg saying that none of the characters are homosexual. The character draws fans due to his flamboyant lifestyle and tolerant attitude.
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. SpongeBob has gained popularity in Japan, specifically with Japanese women. 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.
However, not all reception for SpongeBob has been positive. AskMen's Top 10: Irritating '90s Cartoon Characters ranked SpongeBob at number four. The publication said that his well-meaning attitude is "extremely annoying."
An alternate SpongeBob exists in a world where Plankton was successful. Like his mainstream counterpart, he likes his career, likes promotions, and gets sad when he makes an error in someone's order. The most significant difference is that he is made co-cashier by Plankton and is employed by him.
An alternate SpongeBob is mentioned in every short of the series "What if SpongeBob Was Gone?" Without SpongeBob, Gary throws a humongous party that ends in disaster, Patrick in this universe cannot hunt jellyfish properly, Sandy gets injured when playing karate, and the Krusty Krab ends up in ruins. All would say except Gary, that everything is better with SpongeBob.
SpongeBob's second best friend. In "Truth or Square," when SpongeBob is trapped in the air duct, he remembers a marriage between he and Sandy. However, it was only a stage show and not an actual marriage.
"Today's the big day, Gary!" (first line, "Help Wanted")
"There it is. The finest eating establishment ever established for eating: The Krusty Krab, home of the Krabby Patty, with a Help Wanted sign on the window. I've waited years for this moment. I'm gonna go in there, march straight up to the manager, look at him straight in the eye, lay it on the line, and - I can't do this!" —"Help Wanted"
"Bring it around town. Bring it around town!" —"Bubblestand"
"It's all about finger strength, baby!" —"Pressure"
"The Krabby Patty secret formula is the sole property of the Krusty Krab and is only to be discussed in part or in whole with its creator, Mr. Krabs. Duplication of this formula is punishable by law. Restrictions apply. Results may vary." —"Imitation Krabs"
"If we're discussing the Secret Formula on the third Wednesday in January and it's not raining outside, after we gargle vanilla pudding, what do we do?" —"Imitation Krabs"
"Gary! You are gonna finish your dessert, and you are gonna like it!" —"Dying For Pie"
"Well, it's no secret that the best thing about a secret is secretly telling someone your secret, thereby secretly adding another secret to their secret collection of secrets. Secretly." —"The Secret Box"
SpongeBob is said to be right-handed, but in "Neptune's Spatula," he approves that he had two left hands.
SpongeBob is considered the most popular and iconic character on Nickelodeon.
Beginning in "My Pretty Seahorse" and heavily used in post-season 5 episodes, SpongeBob's nose usually droops down when he is sad, much like Squidward's nose is normally.
SpongeBob's head has gotten bigger in each season and his waist has gotten wider. In some early season 2 episodes, such as "Big Pink Loser," he has a narrow waist.
SpongeBob's pupil and cornea (the blue part of his eye) have gotten larger and more elliptical in each season. Before that, they were just perfect circles.
SpongeBob's prototype name, "SpongeBoy," is referenced by Mr. Krabs in the episode "Squeaky Boots," with the quote "SpongeBoy, me Bob!"
Even though Mr. Krabs is the creator of the Krabby Patty, in "Are You Happy Now?," the narrator says that SpongeBob is the creator.
When he goes to the beach, he often wears swimming wear; in earlier episodes, they are blue, but they change to red in later episodes. They were also seen orange once. This is first seen as a cameo in "Clams," but is very noticeable in newer seasons.
It is revealed in "You Don't Know Sponge" that SpongeBob's favorite ice cream flavor is plain vanilla, his favorite food is the Krabby Patty, he has an outie bellybutton, and his favorite color is beige.