Jellyfish are gelatinous, free-swimming creatures with stingers commonly found throughout all oceans of the world. They first appear in the episode "Tea at the Treedome," as does the sport dedicated to catching them, jellyfishing, usually at Jellyfish Fields.
In comparison to the real world, Jellyfish act far more like real world counterpart than any other species in the show. This is most evident by their buzzing noise that they make and by the fact that they live in hives. Most of their physical characteristics are shared with their real world counterparts including the bell shaped head and trailing tentacles.
While they can produce a substance known as jellyfish honey, jellyfish in the series primarily produce jellyfish jelly. The flavor of the jelly varies, but most commonly are stated to be strawberry flavored. These can be extracted from them, though most do not seek it out due to the risk of being stung by their tentacles which have painful consequences for any unfortunate recipient of their stings.
Jellyfish are portrayed in a stereotypical cartoonish manner, but retain many physical traits like their real-world counterpart. This includes the umbrella-like bells and several tentacles, commonly referred as stingers in the series. Jellyfish can come in a wide variety of colors, most commonly pink and may or may not have dark colored spots on the bell. They are approximately the size of a Krabby Patty, though their sizes are sometimes inconsistent. Since Bikini Bottomites are shown to be only smaller than a human's foot in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, this would make jellyfish almost microscopic to humans.
Their aforementioned stingers, as their name suggests, allows a jellyfish to sting any person who disturbs or annoys them. Their stings have an electrical effect rather than venomous, as shown by the electrical sound and effects when someone is stung by one. The overall effect of being stung varies between individuals, but are noted to be extremely painful for the recipient. They are mild at their most tolerable level, leading to sharp pain and itchiness, but no visible mark. For most stings, a large boil is left behind. The boil an any associated pain is temporary and can heal with time, though a fast acting ointment has been created that alleviates the sting immediately. At their very worst, some jellyfish have fatal stings. Big Lenny is one example who has a history of attacking denizens of the ocean with only one known survivor of an encounter with him, Dr. Manowar. Even for him, that jellyfish still left behind a massive boil that does not heal and is extremely painful to the touch.
The stingers are not activated by touching any part of the tentacle like its real world counterpart as SpongeBob has been shown grabbing a jellyfish stinger with his bare hands in "Jellyfish Jam", possibly showing that the stinging effect only comes from the tip of the stinger.
Their other most curious feature is their ability to produce an edible substance referred in series as Jellyfish jelly. These appear to be produced and stored in their bell and can be extracted via their stingers. Jellyfish also are able to freely excrete jelly, usually in response to an individual who has insulted them or to possibly shed excess jelly, which is normally stored in their hive. There are various methods used to directly extract these from them, most of which are safe and pose little ill effects. SpongeBob has shown milking them out of the tentacle or making them sneeze to achieve this effect. Both are considered safe, as the former method produced enough jelly to cover a slice of bread with while the latter produced approximately a quart-sized jar's worth of jelly with little effect on the jellyfish who were shown moving as normal afterwards. However, various cruel methods are shown in "Jellyfish Hunter" that extracted far too much jelly, leaving most withered and unable to move.
Jellyfish Fields, a major location in the SpongeBob SquarePants universe, is home to over 10 million jellyfish, according to the episode "Jellyfish Hunter." However, some may drift into Bikini Bottom but are seldom a nuisance to its denizens. Most choose to steer clear of them however, due to the potential health risk they pose due to their ability to sting.
The hunting and catching of jellyfish, known as jellyfishing, is a popular hobby among sea folk, most notably SpongeBob and Patrick. It is similar to butterfly catching and it is typically done only for fun/sport, with the jellyfish being released unharmed. Jellyfish appear in almost all SpongeBob video games, typically as basic enemies or background add-ons. They are usually caught using jellyfish nets or jars. They sometimes spook the Bikini Bottomites but never try to hurt them, unless in self-defense. Of course, they can sting at unsuspecting targets at will as evidenced in "Scaredy Pants", where it was shown stinging at an unaware Patrick from behind.
They are in tune with nature and have love music, as seen in "Jellyfish Jam", "SpongeHenge" and “Squid Noir”, though they are attuned to particular types of music. They are for the most part as sentient as most wild animals, but many have shown specialized knowledge for tasks such as opening windows, operating music systems, using a payphone, and imitating SpongeBob walking. They can understand the common tongue of the undersea denizens but cannot speak themselves aside from buzzing in particular manner that is understood only by a few individuals.
Most jellyfish tend to float whimsically and aimlessly, but they can move incredibly fast and controlled, especially as a swarm, to chase down someone. For the most part, they do not willingly go out of their way to interact with the denizens of Bikini Bottom, but some have been known to be generally hostile and take any opportunity to sting someone such as the one seen in "Scaredy Pants".
At least 10 jellyfish collectively can carry SpongeBob into the sky. SpongeBob, in particular, is extremely fond of the creatures and never tries to intentionally hurt them. Likewise, most jellyfish see SpongeBob as a friend as they comforted him when his dreams of flying were crushed and later calling on his aid to stop the construction of a highway that would have gone through Jellyfish Fields.
- Pink jellyfish - The most common jellyfish, pink in color, has 4 stingers and usually with 3 to 8 spots depending on its size.
- Blue jellyfish - A very rare kind of jellyfish, blue in color, with amazing speed and stealth surpassing other jellyfish that makes them pretty hard to catch. In the video game Revenge of the Flying Dutchman, one is seen moving in a circle. In Battle for Bikini Bottom, they have two health points rather than one. In the show, one appears in the episode "Jellyfish Hunter" and is called "No-Name" by SpongeBob until the end, where it is renamed "Friend." It also told SpongeBob to "bring it on" earlier in the episode, marking the first time a jellyfish has "spoken."
- Ghost jellyfish - A very legendary kind of jellyfish, poison-green in color, with a ghostly appearance, crimson red spots, and some orange streak. In SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis, ghost jellyfish are the primary targets of the Jellyfish Shooter minigame and if the player does absolutely nothing without pausing, one of them will appear. On the show, one appears in the episode "Scaredy Pants" as a Halloween decoration.
- Blue Crested Blaster - A rare breed of blue jellyfish with a rooster-like crest.
- Speckled Squirter - A rare breed of purple jellyfish with seven tentacles and squirters on its main body that squirts out jelly.
- Two-Fisted Jumper - A rare breed of orange jellyfish with three tentacles and two fists used for jumping on the ground.
- Gold-Throated Singer - A rare breed of gold jellyfish with four small tentacles, one larger arrowhead tentacle, and a singing mouth.
- Orange-Throated Jellyfish - A rare breed of pink Jellyfish with an orange throat that is mostly found in the south seas. It is only aggressive to Plankton and anything smaller.
- Glowing Three-Spot - A rare breed of pink jellyfish with a glowing main body and three spots.
- Five-Spotted jellyfish - A rare breed of pink jellyfish, caught by Patrick Star.
- Four Stingers - A breed of pink jellyfish with no spots that appear in "Tea at the Treedome," and the title card for "You Don't Know Sponge."
- Albino Jellyfish - An extremely rare kind of jellyfish only mentioned by SpongeBob in "The Secret Box." It is important to note that this jellyfish is legendary, meaning it might not exist.
- Doodle Jellyfish - Also known as a Doodlefish, this is a jellyfish illustrated by SpongeBob in "Frankendoodle” that came to life a few seconds after he finished drawing it.
- SpongeBob Jellyfish - A SpongeBob version of a jellyfish seen in "Nature Pants." It is light yellow and has SpongeBob's face on it. However, it’s revealed that it was just a dream.
- Jelliens - An alien/jellyfish created by the Jellien Leader. They only appear in the episode "Planet of the Jellyfish." They have the ability to eat people and create clones in their place. They also have big, black, creepy eyes. Unlike regular jellyfish, they cannot sting. They do not make good pets as they will try to devour the owner who ends up hibernating in a cocoon.
- Jellybee - A jellyfish that acts similar to the real-world bee. It appears in "FarmerBob," and it stings SpongeBob's rear end.
- Firejellies - Small glowing golden jellyfish that acts similar to the real-world fireflies. They appear in "Swamp Mates."
- Giant white jellyfish - A giant white jellyfish that appears in Revenge of the Flying Dutchman, It has a flat top that people can ride on. SpongeBob would have to stay on top of it in order to get a letter.
- Yellow jellyfish - A very rare kind of jellyfish that is yellow with a quick sting when one comes across them.
- Green jellyfish - A very rare kind of jellyfish that is green with an amazing height-bearing flight that makes them pretty high from defeat. In Revenge of the Flying Dutchman and the DS version of SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis, they are seen on many levels, including the Bikini Bottom main hub, Jellyfish Fields, the Volcano of Mu and the underground cave of the Amulet.
- Black jellyfish - An extremely rare kind of jellyfish that is black and has a unique dark appearance and blue spots. In the DS version of SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis, they are only seen flying in the haunted ship.
- Steel jellyfish - A very rare kind of jellyfish made entirely of steel that is actually easy to defeat, despite their tough appearance. In the DS version of SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis, they are only seen in Atlantis.
- Diamond Jellyfish - A very rare kind of jellyfish made entirely of diamond and can't be defeated. In the DS version of SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis, they are only seen in the diamond stage at the Reef of Mu.
- Magma jellyfish - An extremely rare kind of jellyfish made entirely of magma that gets bigger when hit, making them extremely hard to defeat. In the DS version of SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis, they are only seen in the magma stage at the Volcano of Mu.
- Red jellyfish - A rare kind of jellyfish that is red and will hurt if touched. In the online game Gift Lift, they are seen in easy levels as small, but in hard levels as huge.
- Gray jellyfish - A very rare kind of jellyfish that is gray and squirts black jelly when touched. They only appear in Picture Day Disaster online game.
- Trident jellyfish - A jellyfish with one of its stingers being a prong of a trident seen in the book Legends of Bikini Bottom.
- King jellyfish - The king of all jellyfish, who wears a royal crown and cape and is attracted to a queen jellyfish, yet very much enjoys pie as well. Its binomial genomic title is Cnidaria rex. It appears in "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic" and is a boss in the video games "Battle for Bikini Bottom" and "The Yellow Avenger."
- No name/Friend - A mysterious blue jellyfish that appears in "Jellyfish Hunter." He was named "Friend" because he was the only jellyfish in Jellyfish Fields who SpongeBob has never been able to catch and give a name to. He later helps SpongeBob stop Mr. Krabs, and is renamed "Friend."
- Big Lenny - An enormous and dangerous jellyfish whose stings are almost always fatal. The only person known to have survived one is named Dr. Manowar, who has a gigantic swelling on the side of his head as a result. This swelling only hurts when someone touches it. Big Lenny could be a Man O' War or a box jellyfish as their stings are known to kill people. Big Lenny is seen in "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic" as a picture and in the PC game Operation Krabby Patty during the jellyfishing game.
- Jeffrey the Jellyfish - A mascot of the bi-annual jellyfishing convention, seen in "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic" and "Jolly Lodgers." A man in a Jeffrey costume is captured by Patrick, who idolizes the character. It makes a cameo appearance in "Tutor Sauce" in the arcade.
- Dragon jellyfish - A giant "dragon" controlled by Planktonamor that terrorizes the people of medieval Bikini Bottom. It appears in "Dunces and Dragons."
- Jamming jellyfish - A jellyfish that SpongeBob brings home as a pet in "Jellyfish Jam." SpongeBob and the jellyfish have a disco party. It then invites hundreds of other jellyfish to SpongeBob's house, which they invade and throws a massive dance party in which made SpongeBob mad.
- Queen jellyfish - A quite massive jellyfish that made her debut in the episode "Jellyfishing." She made her second appearance in the episode "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic," but it was just a robot controlled by Kevin and the Jellyspotters. Her most recent video game appearance was in the DS version of SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis as an enemy that Plankton has controlled.
- Ol' Bessy - A jellyfish owned by Old Man Jenkins that acts like a cow. Like regular cows, she is milked, although instead of producing milk, she produces jelly. It appears in "FarmerBob."
- In "SpongeHenge," one of the jellyfish is named "Sparky."
- In the real world, jellyfish cannot produce jam, as jam is a man-made food.
- A jellyfish is seen speaking in the book Clean Sweep!.
- In the real world, jellyfish do not act like bees, apart from how they sting and how they float.
|Recurring characters (V • E)|
Patchy • Potty • French Narrator • Mermaid Man • Barnacle Boy • Flying Dutchman • King Neptune • Larry the Lobster • Harold SquarePants • Margaret SquarePants • Grandma SquarePants • Realistic Fish Head • Perch Perkins • Bikini Bottomites • Jellyfish
Other recurring characters
|Battle for Bikini Bottom Enemies (V • E)|
|Standard: Jellyfish • Blue jellyfish • Fodder • Ham-Mer • Tar-Tar • Chomp-Bot • G-Love • Chuck • Monsoon • Bomb-Bot • Sleepy-Time • Arf • Arf Dawg • BZZT-Bot • Tubelet • Slick|
|Bosses: King Jellyfish • Robo-Sandy • Prawn • Robo-Patrick • Flying Dutchman • SpongeBot SteelPants • Robo-Plankton • Robo-Squidward|