The French Narrator is a man with a French accent who narrates scenes of some episodes, usually at the beginning. He makes physical appearances in the episode "No Free Rides" and its book adaptation, featured in Crime and Funishment, where he is run over by SpongeBob. In the episode "Feral Friends," he makes his first major appearance when he is called by Sandy for more information on Neptune's Moon and its effects on sea life.


In the episode "Mimic Madness," SpongeBob takes form and mimics the French Narrator, revealing that he has a gray goatee and gray hair. He also wears a red beanie, similar to the one that Jacques-Yves Cousteau is known to have worn. His full physical form has been seen in "Feral Friends," where he is seen with a diver's helmet and a red beanie.

Creation and development

The French Narrator is based on Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the world-famous sea-life expert who died in 1997. In the 2004 episode of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Tom Kenny admits that Cousteau was the inspiration for the French narrator, as SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg considers Cousteau an idol.


A group of scientists enlisted his help to narrate, and at least, some of the time, film a group of unique sea creatures and one land creature in a colony of intelligent fish. The team's mission is to teach people how to behave better.[1]


He speaks the first lines in the whole series (except Painty the Pirate, who sings the theme song). His first lines are "Ah, the sea... so fascinating. So wonderful. Here, we see Bikini Bottom, teeming with life. Home to one of my favorite creatures, SpongeBob SquarePants. Yes, of course he lives in a pineapple, you silly." He narrates in most of the episodes in season 1 and season 2, but not as much in seasons 3-9.

Video games

The French Narrator is heard in a few SpongeBob video games:


TV narrator

He only works with the TV narrator in the video game Lights, Camera, Pants! When they first meet, they seem to not like each other, but by the end of the special they are friends and become closer to each other.


  • "Ah, the sea... so fascinating. So wonderful." —"Help Wanted"
  • "Don't say another word. I have been monitoring the behavior of the green moon all day. It is called Neptune's Moon. Every 100 years, it de-evolves everyone in Bikini Bottom into primal fish for two hours." —"Feral Friends"


  • If considering him one, the French Narrator was the first character to speak in the series.
    • However, if not considering him one, then SpongeBob was the first.
  • In the Filipino dub, he is voiced by well-known anime dubber Jefferson Utanes, who provided voices of famous anime characters such as Kouya Marino from Crush Gear Turbo and Yami Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters.
  • He is heard crying once in the episode "Chum Caverns" when Mr. Krabs and Plankton comfort each other while crying.
    • However, he does not cry in the Russian dub.
  • Patrick breaks the fourth wall in "Wet Painters" by actually holding one of the time cards that the narrator is reading, claiming that he is "running out of time cards."
  • He is heard in the first movie, but he does not return in the second movie.
  • In storyboards for "Help Wanted," he is listed as "Jacques Cousteau," which was seen in Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • In "Can You Spare a Dime?," a time card with the text "So much later that the old narrator got tired of waiting and they had to hire a new one," being read by the British narrator with an English accent (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker), is shown, jokingly claiming that the French Narrator had quit. However, this was not permanent.
  • In "Sun Bleached," he uses the time card "Two Hours Later" twice. The first time is when SpongeBob is overtanning in Patrick's tanning machine; the second time is when they dance for two hours when the lights are on "Bleached," causing everyone to dry up and change into small piles of sand.
  • He is similar to the narrator from the Cartoon Network series The Powerpuff Girls, as both are voiced by Tom Kenny, used for comic relief, and have interacted with characters.
  • In the Croatian dub, from seasons 1 to 5, the French Narrator speaks in a Kajkavian accent, which is one of three Croatian accents, but as of season 6, he speaks in French accent as he should.
  • In the stage adaptation in Chicago, he was originally portrayed on stage by Mark Ledbetter. When the show transferred to Broadway, Tom Kenny reprised his role as the narrator in a pre-recorded role.
  • His suit is a reference to the "Cyclops" in the first movie, because in the episode "Feral Friends," he appears physically, and has a shocking resemblance to the "Cyclops".
    • In that episode, it is revealed he knows Sandy and Patchy.
  • During Mimic Madness, he spoke directly to SpongeBob and told him not to imitate him anymore.


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