SpongeBob SquarePants is the titular main protagonist of the SpongeBob SquarePants franchise. He is voiced by Tom Kenny and first appeared on television in the series' pilot episode "Help Wanted" on May 1, 1999. SpongeBob was created and designed by former marine science teacher Stephen Hillenburg, who originally used the character in an educational book he wrote in the 1980s. Thanks to success and popularity of the franchise, SpongeBob has become a household name and the face of Nickelodeon.
As shown in "The Secret Box", SpongeBob has known his best friend Patrick since they were both little babies. SpongeBob moved into his sunken pineapple house with his pet snail, Gary, one day after moving out of his parents' house. He later met his next-door neighbor, Squidward. His teacher is Mrs. Puff and his boss is Eugene Krabs.
SpongeBob is an excitable and charming young sponge. He and Patrick often annoy Squidward without really knowing it.
Much of SpongeBob's early education is unknown; however, it was mentioned that his kindergarten teacher was Mrs. Shell. Also, he encountered a fellow elementary classmate named Dennis in "The Sponge Who Could Fly". He also mentioned that he was voted most clumsy in high school, and was never able to get a date for his junior prom.
SpongeBob is currently in boating school, run by his dedicated teacher Mrs. Puff. He knows every answer to Mrs. Puff's oral exams and is the most committed student in her class. However, SpongeBob's anxious nerves always take over when he gets behind the wheel of a boat, leading to his very frequent failures at passing the driving exam.
He still doesn't have his boating license.
For a long time, SpongeBob held a desire to work at the Krusty Krab. After a pep talk from Patrick, he decided to apply for a job as a fry cook to the restaurant's owner, Eugene Krabs. SpongeBob, being an excellent fry cook himself, wanted to master the art of creating a Krabby Patty. Mr. Krabs hired him, but first wanted to see how capable he was. He sent him to buy a hydro-dynamic spatula with port and starboard attachments (which would be seen occasionally in later episodes). To Mr. Krabs' shock, SpongeBob returned with said spatula in the nick of time (the Krusty Krab had been invaded by anchovies). SpongeBob fed all of them with Krabby Patties, and Mr. Krabs was extremely pleased. SpongeBob was hired soon after. He is also responsible for keeping up the good work at making Krabby Patties for the customers so he can satisfy Mr. Krabs with money he'll get when the people pay for the food.
He frequently gets days off at the Krusty Krab Restaurant, and as a result he spends his free time with his best friend Patrick Star, and especially enjoys practicing karate with his other friend Sandy Cheeks. He also likes eating jelly, and collecting the jellyfish at Jellyfish Fields. To date, he has caught, named, and let go every jellyfish in Jellyfish Fields at least once, except the blue jellyfish, until the end of the episode "Jellyfish Hunter".
SpongeBob also likes to blow bubbles, surf, sun bathe, and play the ukulele. His favorite TV show is The New Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. SpongeBob is such a fan of the show that he and Patrick together brought them out of retirement. They also pretend to be Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
SpongeBob is a yellow sea sponge with olive green holes. He wears brown pants, a white polo shirt, red necktie, white knee-high socks with red and blue stripes, and black leather shoes. He also has light blue eyes, with 3 eyelashes on each one, rosy cheeks with three freckles on each one, and a pink chin. His underwear consists of white cotton low-rise briefs.
- Patrick Star - SpongeBob has been best friends with Patrick for as long as he can remember. Even though Patrick is dim-witted, SpongeBob looks at him as a genius. Patrick lives under a rock two houses away from SpongeBob. The pair love jellyfishing, bubble-blowing, playing childish games. However, neither one notices the fact that they are incredibly naive, and both are optimists.
- Sandy Cheeks - Sandy and SpongeBob became friends upon their first meeting. They like to practice karate together as well as hang out in Goo Lagoon. Sandy often looks at SpongeBob as immature, but laughs at his brand of humor. In "Truth or Square", SpongeBob revealed that they once starred in a play with each other, pretending to marry each other.
- Pearl Krabs - Pearl is another one of SpongeBob's good friends. They have ended up in romantic situations (like going to prom and going on a love-themed ride together), but the two are just friends. Pearl thinks SpongeBob is stylish, fashionable and very helpful (even with dull tasks like helping her get rid of barnacles).
- Squidward Tentacles - SpongeBob is always under the impression that Squidward and he are great friends, but Squidward thinks otherwise. He has even stated to SpongeBob (directly) that he hates him, but SpongeBob never takes him seriously. He and Patrick also love to play with him, but always end up making "every 11 minutes of his life" (which is how long an episode segment is) filled with misery.
- Eugene Krabs - Mr. Krabs is SpongeBob's boss and fatherly figure, carrying with him tales of the sea and warnings. Occasionally, SpongeBob has gotten in trouble with him, but Mr. Krabs is proud of him nevertheless.
- Mrs. Puff - SpongeBob idolizes Mrs. Puff as a teacher and she frequently acts as a motherly figure to him. SpongeBob longs to be Mrs. Puff's best student, trying his hardest to gain "Good Noodle" stars and ace every oral exam. Unfortunately, his helplessness behind the wheel can leave Mrs. Puff exasperated.
- Sheldon Plankton - Plankton and SpongeBob were enemies in the older seasons and SpongeBob usually defeats his plans for stealing the Krabby Patty secret formula. In the newer episodes, after SpongeBob helped him into finding Spot and saving Karen, they are friends and at the same time business rivals.
- Karen Plankton - Initially Karen saw SpongeBob as an enemy, and she advised Plankton to use him to get the secret formula. However, SpongeBob has teamed up with her on occasion, most notably in "Frozen Face-Off" and the second film and they gave currently a more positive relationship after he saved her life from a virus.
- Gary the Snail - Gary is SpongeBob's cherished pet. SpongeBob has owned Gary ever since he was a young boy living with his parents.
Songs sung by SpongeBob
From the show
- "Ripped Pants" (voiced by Peter Strauss)
- "F.U.N. Song"
- "Sweet Victory" (voiced by David Glen Eisley)
- "Campfire Song Song"
- "If Only I Could Join You"
- "He's Flying"
- "All You Need Is Friends"
- "Oh Baby"
- "Down The Well"
- "The Bubble Song"
- "Fueling The Bus"
- "Good-Bye, Atlantis"
- "Attitude of Gratitude"
- "A Day Like This"
- "Oh Krusty Krab"
- "Santa Has His Eye On Me"
- "Don't Be A Jerk (It's Christmas)"
- "It's High Tide Time We Went On Tour"
- "Never Give Up"
- "Who Am I?"
From the movies
- "Goofy Goober Song"
- "Now That We're Men"
- "Goofy Goober Rock" (voiced by Jim Wise)
- "The Best Day Ever"
- "Thank Gosh It's Monday"
- "Bikini Bottom Day"
- "No Control"
- "When the Going Gets Tough"
- "Just a Simple Sponge"
- "Hero Is My Middle Name"
- "Tomorrow Is"
- "Chop to the Top"
- "(I Guess I) Miss You"
- SpongeBob is one of the only two characters who is playable in every installment of the Nicktoons Unite! video games (the other being Danny Fenton).
- In 2002, SpongeBob was ranked #9 in TV Guide's Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters list (which also included Angelica Pickles at #7 and Ren and Stimpy at #31). He was notably the most recently-created character to be featured on the list at the time of its publication.
- In the Welcome to the Wayne episode "Like No Market on Earth", SpongeBob briefly appears as one of Equimorph's transformations, referred to as "SpongeRobert RectangleShorts".
- According to Stephen Hillenburg, SpongeBob is asexual, meaning he has no sexual desire, though he could fall in love.