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.
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 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-like 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 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. In addition, he has three exceptionally wide, exposed, and effeminate eyelashes on each eye, which have sometimes - during close-ups in particular - been shown to be numerous eyelashes akin to a human, which is best prominent in "Tutor Sauce" when he is seen breathily heavily during a close-up. Although rarely seen in the series, he has light yellow hair that goes hand-in-hand with his skin color, 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 instead has 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. While working at the Krusty Krab, he wears a tall, white hat with a small blue anchor illustration on it as a uniform. SpongeBob usually sleeps in his underwear, and at other times--beginning with season 5--pajamas. 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 season 1; after the the first movie, his voice gets slightly higher-pitched. In season 8, his voice gets lower-pitched once again.
While SpongeBob is generally lucky in life and healthy, he has on several occasions faced health problems over the course of the series, which are usually caused by his persistent gullibility to fall for antagonists' antics or simply by accident. On a side note, he is an invertebrate and thus lacks bones, making him immune to physical harm; however, this varies greatly by episode, as sometimes SpongeBob is depicted as having bones and thus prone to suffering injuries, while in other episodes, most notably "The Bully," he has none and is therefore accepting of his aforementioned injuries. Like most other characters on the show, he has faced many fatal inuries and near-death experiences. However, due to cartoon physics and negative continuity, he sometimes recovers immediately afterward without medical support. Such instances are played for comedy and do not affect the plot, therefore they will be overlooked when taking into account his health. However, SpongeBob has on more than one occasion faced ongoing medical conditions and injuries that have even been the core of the plot.
The first prominent instance of SpongeBob's health interference is in "Tea at the Treedome," where he for the first time enters an air pollution, Sandy's treedome in particular, after having met a new friend, and due to the insufficient amount of water in her house, starts to shrivel up before eventually passing out--along with Patrick--on the ground from hypothermia. Both he and Patrick are subsequently revived by Sandy's new creation, water helmets.
SpongeBob's health interference is also a plot point of "Suds," where he becomes infected by the eponymous disease which gives him a cold and causes him to sneeze pink bubbles through his pores. He caught it from accidentally leaving his freezer open overnight and falling asleep in the kitchen. He is eventually cured by the Purple Doctorfish utilizing a special treatment exclusive to sponges.
Additionally, in "Prehibernation Week," Sandy takes SpongeBob on numerous increasingly dangerous adventures in which they participate in extreme sport games, drastically injuring SpongeBob and taking a toll on his health in the process.
At the end of "Survival of the Idiots," Sandy, having had her fur ripped off by the duo, uses SpongeBob and Patrick's bodies as a replacement; since the two are in her treedome and have no provision of water whatsoever, they nearly die from hypothermia.
In "Squirrel Jokes," SpongeBob suffers from hypothermia yet again upon entrance of Sandy's treedome and is given too much water by her through the provision of a hose, inflating him to the point of taking up the dome's capacity.
In "I Had an Accident," SpongeBob faces a sandboarding accident in which he severely injures his buttocks and is thereafter sent to the hospital. His injury was nearly fatal as each piece of his buttocks were glued back together and taped, and he would have been permanently subject to the Iron Butt under much worse circumstances.
In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, SpongeBob and Patrick are kidnapped by the Cyclops and placed on a table above which a lamp sits. Due to the pressure of the lamp's heat, SpongeBob and Patrick start to shrivel up and eventually pass away. However, the tear they shared beforehand finds its way into a power outlet and thus activates the ceiling sprinkler system, thereafter reviving them.
Sometime during the events of "Funny Pants," SpongeBob underwent surgery to have his laugh box transplanted to Squidward out of sympathy for the latter rupturing his own.
In "Krusty Towers," SpongeBob alongside Patrick, Mr. Krabs, and Squidward are sent to the hospital and treated in medical beds following the fatal destruction of the eponymous hotel, which the group was in during the incident.
In "Fungus Among Us," SpongeBob finds a suspicious green substance known as "ick" on his bedroom floor and attempts to clean it up, but fails and as a result the ick contaminates him and becomes contagious. Due to his unhealthy status, the SWAT Team arrives on the scene at the Krusty Krab and quarantines SpongeBob in a plastic bubble in his house, which is eventually popped due to Patrick's moronic actions. He is cured towards the end of the episode when Gary uses his slime to rid everyone of the ick.
In "The Splinter," SpongeBob trips and falls off of the ceiling of the Krusty Krab kitchen in a failed attempt to retrieve his spatula, therefore falling on the wooden ground and having a splinter lodged into his thumb. He goes to Patrick to seek medical attention; however, due to the latter's unprofessional remedies and overall lack of a medical license, only makes matters worse by hammering it further into his thumb, which not only causes SpongeBob more pain, but also causes his thumb to swell up severely and produce pus. He is finally cured when Mr. Krabs, with his great strength and claws, simply pulls it out, essentially inverting his injury and thus returning him back to normal.
In "A Life in a Day," Patrick's obsession with emulating Larry the Lobster goes to his head and prompts him to bring SpongeBob along to perform the most extreme stunt yet: crashing into Ripper's Reef, an island consisting of stalagmites. The aftermath of this stunt lands the duo along with Larry--who got injured while trying to save them--in the hospital, covered in bandages and wearing casts over their heads.
In "Stuck in the Wringer," SpongeBob gets stuck in his bathroom wringer while trying to rinse himself off and thereby calls Patrick for help; however, instead of helping him, he surrounds the wringer with super glue, impeding his escape. Throughout the episode, SpongeBob uncontrollably moves very clumsily and interferes with the public due to his disorderly condition. His health continues to deteriorate as he is unable to consume food or drink due to the wringer's blockage of his digestive system and gets a black eye at the carnival due to incompatibility with his restraint condition and the rides' pressure. He is cured at the end of the episode when both he and Patrick cry an abundance of tears to dissolve the glue, essentially facilitating his escape from the wringer.
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 makes 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 as easy as the other characters, mainly due to his naïve 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 condescending to his friends, even Mr. Krabs, whom he treats as a father figure. 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 forces people into situations against their will. In the episode "Rodeo Daze," he kidnaps the Bikini Bottomites with bubbles in persuasion 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.
While SpongeBob is usually a goody-two shoes, he occasionally exhibits antagonism and inconvenience toward others. However, he usually does so unknowingly and with good intentions, while other times he does it out of self-gain.
In "Pizza Delivery," while 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 worried that Squidward will win the Employee of the Month award instead of him, hence he tries to sabotage Squidward. 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 into the sky despite the latter's objections. However, this is because he thought that Squidward was still dead.
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.
In "Squirrel Jokes," he makes fun of Sandy by making jokes about her species. Even though he promises Sandy that he will stop, 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 retaliation.
In "Sailor Mouth," he uses foul language along with Patrick after discovering it on dumpster graffiti.
In "Just One Bite," he forces Squidward to eat a Krabby Patty by handcuffing himself to him.
In "Rodeo Daze," he kidnaps the Bikini Bottomites 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 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, Sandy at that moment 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 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 threatening him.
In "New Student Starfish," Patrick comes with SpongeBob to boating school, in which he writes a letter calling Mrs. Puff a "big fat meanie" 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 despite how he didn't break the law.
In "Stanley S. SquarePants," SpongeBob's cousin works with him at the Krusty Krab; 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, consume food or drink, 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 garbage statue of Squidward so a cop gives Squidward a ticket for it even though it fell off on its own; SpongeBob is at fault for this since he created the statue in the first place.
Despite his childlike innocence and naïvete, SpongeBob does, in fact, have a history of criminal offenses and being imprisoned. However, due to his naïvete and gullibility, a lot of these crimes have been committed unintentionally or through the manipulation of antagonists, mainly Squidward, Mr. Krabs, or Plankton; others have been committed with malice intent however. He has been arrested arrested a total of seven times: for "stealing" a balloon in "Life of Crime," attempting to rob a bank in "Doing Time," failing to invite the police to his party in "Party Pooper Pants," littering Patrick's driver's license in "Driven to Tears," playing sitar without a license in "SpongeBob's Last Stand," falsely accused public disturbance in "Cave Dwelling Sponge," and unintentionally terrorizing a majority of Bubbletown in the episode of the same name. SpongeBob's criminal record includes, but is not limited to:
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, and SpongeBob regrets his actions after learning Plankton's motive, therefore returning the beach back to its previous state.
Aircraft hijacking: In "Sandy's Rocket," SpongeBob and Patrick hijack Sandy's spaceship and use it for their own purposes.
Attempted murder: In "Nasty Patty," SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs create a tainted patty to feed the health inspector, with the intention of killing him.
Attempted theft: In addition to breaking into his house, SpongeBob attempts to steal Patrick's box in "The Secret Box." He also tries to steal Betsy Krabs' underwear along with Patrick and Mr. Krabs in "Mid-Life Crustacean."
Bank robbery: In "Doing Time," SpongeBob and Patrick force the receptionist of the local bank to give them all his money. This was done in an attempt to get arrested and free Mrs. Puff from jail.
Breaking and entering/Burglary: In "Hall Monitor," SpongeBob enters the window of a couple's house and disturbs them while on hall monitor duties. 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.
Cruelty to animals: In "The Great Snail Race," SpongeBob overexerts Gary as a preparation method for the following snail race. This causes extreme discomfort to Gary and eventually results in him collapsing on his way to the finish line; however, SpongeBob eventually noticed the error in his ways. In "To Love a Patty," SpongeBob takes the lives of many scallops during the song montage by breaking them, out of defense for Patty. In "A Pal for Gary," when Gary is being violently attacked and nearly eaten by Puffy Fluffy, SpongeBob takes no action and instead accuses Gary of harassing Puffy.
Disturbing the peace: In "Life of Crime," SpongeBob and Patrick resort to making disturbing noises in the middle of the road upon discovering their new identities as "criminals," with the townspeople mistaking them for 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 wake up the entire townspeople and cause car alarms to go off and worms to bark.
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.
Eco-terrorism: 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, this crime can be justified.
Enforced public nudity: In "The String," he makes everyone appear nude at the Krusty Krab by pulling a string.
False advertising: In "Chocolate with Nuts," as a means to boost their business profits as salesmen, SpongeBob and Patrick spread lies to their customers about the chocolate bars they're selling, claiming them to have special abilities. In "Ink Lemonade," he and Patrick sell Squidward's ink to the public under the guise of lemonade.
False imprisonment: In "Employee of the Month," SpongeBob sets up many traps on Squidward in an attempt to sabotage his Employee of the Month Award. In "Just One Bite," SpongeBob handcuffs himself to Squidward, forcing him to eat a Krabby Patty. In "Shuffleboarding," he and Patrick, while dressed as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy respectively, go around arresting citizens for actions that do not count as crimes, such as chewing gum too loudly and being too old.
Food safety violation: In "Nasty Patty," SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs create a tainted burger to poison the health inspector with. In "Gullible Pants," SpongeBob serves food with his bare feet, potentially contaminating it with his own fungal bacteria. In "Ink Lemonade," SpongeBob and Patrick unknowingly distribute Squidward's ink to the public, ultimately culminating in health problems to its consumers. However, SpongeBob and Patrick didn't know that they were distributing ink, but rather thought it was a black variant of lemonade.
Identity theft: In "Opposite Day," SpongeBob and Patrick impersonate Squidward and claims his house as their property, intent on annoying the real estate agent and preventing Squidward from moving out of town.
Impersonating an officer: In "Call the Cops," SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs impersonate police officers in hopes of getting the secret formula back.
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 IV," SpongeBob shrinks a majority of the town's population and keeps them in a jar against their will. In "Rodeo Daze," SpongeBob abducts all the townspeople and transports them into his house using bubbles.
Littering: In "Driven to Tears," SpongeBob rips Patrick's driver's license into pieces and throws the remains on the ground. The police notice this and wrongfully accuse Patrick of committing the act, thus arresting him; however, SpongeBob--out of sympathy for his friend--eventually confesses to having done it and thereby takes Patrick's place in jail.
Misuse/Abuse of emergency services: In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II," SpongeBob abuses the power of the conch signal by using it to get Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to do trivial things for him like opening a jar of mayonnaise.
Public health violation: In "Gullible Pants," Squidward tells SpongeBob that trashing the Krusty Krab will attract more business, so he does just that, to no avail; however, this instance was done out of manipulation. 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.
Public nudity/Indecent exposure: In "Nature Pants," SpongeBob removes his clothes at Jellyfish Fields in order to embrace the nature of living with the jellyfish. In "Pranks a Lot," SpongeBob and Patrick remove their clothes 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 said spatula; he spends the rest of the episode naked. In "The Incredible Shrinking Sponge," SpongeBob shrinking results in him outgrowing his clothes and thus walking around in the nude.
Reckless driving: Beginning with "Boating School," 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. In spite of all the damage he causes, SpongeBob is never arrested or charged for his dangerous driving; instead, Mrs. Puff is, who the authorities believe is failing to educate him.
Sedition: In "SpongeBob's Last Stand," SpongeBob and Patrick resist the government-sanctioned construction of the Shelly Superhighway and encourage the rest of the town to join their protest through a song. The police eventually notice the boys rebelling against the government's authority and imprison them in the middle of nowhere. However, on SpongeBob's part, his arrest was for playing sitar 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, typical as a means of showing their affection towards him. This is prominent in 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.
Torture: In "Krab Borg," believing that he is a robot, SpongeBob and Squidward tie Mr. Krabs to a chair and destroy his prized possessions in front of him until he makes a confession.
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 invade 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 from them by trespassing into the sewers. SpongeBob also invades the sewers with Squidward in "The Sewers of Bikini Bottom," although they did it to retrieve the safe, so this can be justified. In "Toy Store of Doom," SpongeBob and Patrick stay in Toy Barrel past its open hours and hide in a dollhouse so as not to be caught by the security guard.
Truancy: 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.
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.
Unlicensed surgery: In "Dying for Pie," SpongeBob performs open-heart surgery on Squidward despite not having a license, leading to disastrous treatment in that SpongeBob does not use anesthesia and causes Squidward to lose blood.
Vandalism/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 production causes the restaurant to explode. In "Christmas Who?," SpongeBob and Patrick chop down Squidward's coral tree and add Christmas decorations to his house without his permission. In "Squid on Strike," SpongeBob takes Squidward's metaphor literally and therefore demolishes the entirety of the Krusty Krab. In "Krab Borg," he and Squidward destroy many of Mr. Krabs' valuables. SpongeBob's reckless driving has also been the result of property damage many times. In "The Krusty Plate," SpongeBob's usage of the Spot-Master 6000 leads to the disintegration of the Krusty Krab. In "Gullible Pants," SpongeBob is lead to believe that harming the Krusty Krab will enhance its quality, so he throws bricks at its property.
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.
Abilities and talents
SpongeBob has been shown to have numerous extraordinary abilities and attributes over the course of the series.
Absorbency: 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.
Boneless: SpongeBob is usually shown to be boneless since sea sponges are 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."
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.
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 manages to defeat five other competitors, also surviving against Mrs. Puff.
Driving: He drives perfectly in various episodes, but drives recklessly on other episodes, which are in appearances of Mrs. Puff and her boating school.
Fry cooking: SpongeBob has a job cooking Krabby Patties at the Krusty Krab.
Karate: He trains in karate perfectly and rarely mixes them up.
Regeneration: It is shown that he can quickly regenerate parts of his body that are injured or removed.
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.
Soft pliable body: Due to his soft, pliable frame, he is capable of shape-shifting, has some degree of invulnerability, being able to absorb any type of physical impact, shown most notably in the episode "The Bully."
Survival skills: In "To Save a Squirrel," SpongeBob and Patrick almost eat each other to survive.
SpongeBob's life has most usually been in good luck, except on his boating school driving tests, where he gets himself and others injured or almost injured from his reckless driving. He also gets injuries from when dared to participate in extreme sport activities, due to his weakness. The following is a list of near-death experiences that SpongeBob has faced.
Dying for Pie: He trips over a rock while holding the pie in Squidward's face, making a huge explosion.
Prehibernation Week: He gets into several life-threatening accidents caused by Sandy's extreme sports.
Survival of the Idiots: He and Patrick are brutally beaten by Sandy, and are then buried alive and nearly die of hypothermia.
No Free Rides: Crashes the car in his driving test, faints and collapses onto Mrs. Puff's reward cake, accidentally sprays pepper spray in his eyes, booted out of the car by Mrs. Puff, gets massacred by large clams, shredded by cheese graters, and tortured by educational TV. Then he and Mrs. Puff's fight causes SpongeBob's car Boaty to crash into a police car.
SpongeGuard on Duty: He and Patrick nearly drown at Goo Lagoon. Then both of them get a cramp at the end in a kid's pool.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V: Accidentally burnt by Squidward as Captain Magma and runs around in a circle until he reduces into ashes with only his shoes still intact. Comes to the Krusty Krab later in a wheelchair with cast covering his head.
Club SpongeBob: Accidentally hit his face first by Squidward after the flying of the treehouse.
No Weenies Allowed: After he enters the Salty Spitoon, he slipped on an ice cube and is rushed to the hospital.
Krabby Land: Pays two thugs to torture him for the entertainment of the children.
I Had an Accident: Crashes into the ground and shatters his buttocks. He is then ripped in half by the gorilla.
The Sponge Who Could Fly: Falls off three cliffs and is eventually blown up by Cannonball Jenkins, who wanted to get revenge on him for destroying the silo of his farm.
SpongeBob Meets the Strangler: His life is almost threatened by the Tattletale Strangler, but the latter is persistently interrupted by SpongeBob's parties, causing him to give up.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: Gets chased by the Frogfish, then he and Patrick almost die from the lamp's heat, only to survive because the sprinklers turn on. Nearly killed by Dennis but he and Patrick hit a catamaran.
Shell of a Man: When Mr. Krabs offers him to punch him in the "Armor Abs," his arm breaks to pieces. In the ceremony, he spits out three teeth then eventually he spits out his ribs. Hit by Torpedo Belly, shattering Mr. Krabs' shell to pieces.
Breath of Fresh Squidward: He and Patrick are flung away by a massive catapult and get zapped by Squidward's electric fence at the end.
Atlantis SquarePantis: He, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, and Mr. Krabs are nearly killed by Plankton's massive tank but said tank fires ice cream instead of missiles. They are also chased by the Atlantis guards.
The Battle of Bikini Bottom: He and Patrick participate in a war between clean and dirty. The last time he is attacked was when he is smashed by the dumpster on the Krusty Krab by Patrick.
The Splinter: Is almost impaled by the swords and scissors while falling. He is then skinned alive after attempting to remove the splinter in his thumb with his teeth.
A Life in a Day: He, Patrick, and Larry are severely injured by landing into Rippers Reef.
Sun Bleached: Burnt by the tanning machine because Patrick abandoned him. He also removed one of SpongeBob's head pieces. Attacked by a woman for being a monster, and he and Patrick and other Bikini Bottomites are burnt to ashes by the tanning lights.
Plankton's Regular: When Nat Peterson opens the door into SpongeBob's face, his skin peels off. He is then crushed by a giant spoon.
Krusty Krushers: He and Patrick are brutally beaten by Plankton's two wrestlers throughout the episode.
Ditchin': Very nearly drowns in a tar pit but miraculously climbs out of it.
The Slumber Party: Attacked by Pearl's friends several times in the episode. While he is morphed into a frozen pizza, Mr. Krabs eats his left eye.
Sand Castles in the Sand: He and Patrick are severely injured in the collision of their aircrafts after their war of the better sand castle.
Greasy Buffoons: Mistaken for a treat and nearly eaten by Patrick at the end.
Stuck in the Wringer: He gets stuck in his bathroom wringer and gets injured in the carnival after going to some life-threatening rides and games.
Shell Shocked: He knocks all of the shells of Angry Jack's Shell Emporium, breaking them because he would have been stabbed by the shards of the shells, then to pay off the damages of the shells he gives his eyeball and organ and a leg to Angry Jack because his mind won't let him to stop destroying shells.
Frozen Face Off: Chased by Mr. Krabs' pet worms, nearly freezes to death, chased by the Abominable Snow Mollusk, frozen in a block of ice, then nearly fried in the giant grease container by Plankton, but rescued by the abominable snow mollusk afterwards.
Mooncation: Trips over a moon rock while crater-boarding and his eyeballs came out of their sockets when the rocket crash-landed in Bikini Bottom.
Mr. Krabs Takes a Vacation: Crushed by the coin making machine which turned him into coins and blasted twice by Mr. Krabs' tears. The first one is when Mr. Krabs is disappointed when the dollars are shredded and the other is when Pearl spent his two dollars for a new pair of shoes.
Bubble Buddy Returns: Electrocuted by Squidward's faulty lampshade, run over by cars, pricked by pins, cut to pieces by scissors, and has a pitchfork embedded in his head.
The Good Krabby Name: He gets attacked by Patrick while in a Krabby Patty costume. Then, he and Patrick get smashed by each other's plane and blimp, get their skins sucked by Pilar, and are thrown by the 99% of the customers towards the end of the episode because they caused trouble with them by using the advertising.
Squid Defense: Split in half many times and smashed into pieces one time.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water: The Bikini Bottomities try to crush SpongeBob with a stone bun to end the apocalypse and make a sacrifice to the sandwich gods. However, Mr. Krabs prevents him from getting crushed by the stone bun because he and SpongeBob can smell Krabby Patties.
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" 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 was used as SpongeBob's fake first name in "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?" Nancy Suzy Fish refers to SpongeBob as a "talking cheese" in "Band Geeks."
Although SpongeBob's driver's license says his birth date is July 14, 1986, Hillenburg joked that he is 50 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.
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.
"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 have gotten larger and more elliptical in each season. Before that, they were just pure 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.