The main characters of SpongeBob SquarePants were created by Stephen Hillenburg, a former teacher of marine science. While working at the Ocean Institute in the 1980s, Hillenburg created an educational book about sea creatures called The Intertidal Zone. It served as the basis for the characters of SpongeBob. SpongeBob himself was based on a realistic sea sponge named "Bob the Sponge," who was the book's fictional host.


Stephen Hillenburg's first sketch of the main characters

The first five characters made for the show were SpongeBob, Mr. Krabs, Pearl, Patrick, and Squidward.[1] Stephen based Mr. Krabs on his former boss at a seafood restaurant. He was inspired to create Pearl while supervising whale watches at the Ocean Institute. In the mid-1990s, Hillenburg created a "series bible" that outlined the main characters. While writing it, he came up with some new additions to the cast: a diving squirrel named Sandy, the evil Plankton, and Karen the computer (named after his wife, Karen).[1]

The last addition to the main cast, Mrs. Puff, was made at the request of Nickelodeon executives. They told Hillenburg that they would not produce the cartoon unless SpongeBob was a child who went to school, with his teacher as a main character.[2] Hillenburg was ready to "walk out" on Nickelodeon; he insisted that SpongeBob should be a childlike adult so that he could be universally relatable. Hillenburg eventually came up with a compromise that he loved: SpongeBob would go to a boat-driving school, run by a pufferfish named Mrs. Puff.[2] This satisfied Nickelodeon's demands for a teacher while keeping SpongeBob as an adult.[3]

Main characters

SpongeBob stock art

SpongeBob SquarePants (character)

SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny) is a yellow sea sponge who is the protagonist of the seriesMore ⇉

Patrick stock art

Patrick Star

Patrick Star (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke) is a pink starfish who is SpongeBob's best friend. More ⇉

Squidward stock art

Squidward Tentacles

Squidward Tentacles (voiced by Rodger Bumpass) is an arrogant octopus who is SpongeBob's neighbor and coworker. More ⇉

Krabs artwork

Eugene H. Krabs

Eugene H. Krabs (voiced by Clancy Brown) is a red crab who is the cheapskate owner of the Krusty KrabMore ⇉

Plankton stock art

Sheldon J. Plankton

Sheldon J. Plankton (voiced by Mr. Lawrence) is a green planktonic copepod who is Mr. Krabs' nemesis. More ⇉

Karen mobile stock art

Karen Plankton

Karen Plankton (voiced by Jill Talley) is a supercomputer who works as Plankton's sidekick and wife. More ⇉

Sandy stock art

Sandy Cheeks

Sandra "Sandy" Cheeks (voiced by Carolyn Lawrence) is a squirrel who wears a diving suit and lives in an air-filled glass treedomeMore ⇉

Mrs Puff stock art

Mrs. Puff

Mrs. Puff (voiced by Mary Jo Catlett) is a pufferfish who is SpongeBob's teacher at her own boating schoolMore ⇉

SpongeBob SquarePants - Pearl Krabs promo art

Pearl Krabs

Pearl Krabs (voiced by Lori Alan) is a teenage whale who lives with her father Mr. Krabs in a hollow anchorMore ⇉

Gary looking up stock art

Gary the Snail

Gary the Snail (voiced by Tom Kenny) is SpongeBob's loyal pet sea snail who meows and behaves like a cat. More ⇉

Recurring characters

Patchy - Legends of Bikini Bottom continuity

Patchy the Pirate

Patchy the Pirate (played by Tom Kenny) is a live-action pirate who is one of the two hosts of SpongeBob SquarePants specials. More ⇉

Potty cropped

Potty the Parrot

Potty the Parrot (originally voiced by Stephen Hillenburg) is Patchy's sarcastic pet parrot who is one of the two hosts of SpongeBob SquarePants specials. More ⇉

French Narrator cropped

French Narrator

The French Narrator (voiced by Tom Kenny) is a deep-sea diver who introduces episodes and narrates time cards from off screen. More ⇉


Mermaid Man

Mermaid Man is a semi-retired superhero living in Bikini BottomMore ⇉

Barnacle Boy season 7

Barnacle Boy

Barnacle Boy (voiced by Tim Conway) is the sidekick of Mermaid ManMore ⇉

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Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman is a pirate ghost who haunts the citizens of Bikini BottomMore ⇉

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King Neptune

King Neptune is a merman god who rules the sea. More ⇉

Larry season 9

Larry the Lobster

Larry the Lobster (voiced by Mr. Lawrence) is a bodybuilder who works as a lifeguard at Goo Lagoon and works out at a gymMore ⇉

Harold SquarePants 2

Harold SquarePants

Harold SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny) is a dark brown sea sponge who is SpongeBob's father. More ⇉

Margaret SquarePants

Margaret SquarePants

Margaret SquarePants (voiced by Sirena Irwin) is a light brown sea sponge who is SpongeBob's mother. More ⇉

Grandma SquarePants

Grandma SquarePants

Grandma SquarePants (voiced by Marion Ross) is SpongeBob's grandmother, who lives in a country cottage. More ⇉


Johnny Elaine

Johnny Elaine is an announcer and news "anchorfish." More ⇉

High Sea Diving 002

Perch Perkins

Perch Perkins (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is a famous field news reporter. More ⇉

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Bubble Bass

Bubble Bass (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is an obese and picky bass fish. More ⇉


Squilliam Fancyson

Squilliam Fancyson III is Squidward's old high school rival. More ⇉

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Man Ray

Man Ray is a villain with a manta ray head who is one of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's enemies. More ⇉

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Dirty Bubble

The Dirty Bubble is an evil brown bubble who is one of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's enemies. More ⇉



The Captain (voice of Patrick Pinney) is a painting of a pirate's head who sings the show's theme songMore ⇉

Hans appears model sponge


Hans (voiced by Tom Kenny) is a sentient live-action hand wearing the sleeve of a naval jacket. More ⇉

Scavenger Pants 169

Mrs. Tentacles

Squidward's mother who seems to like baking cookies and appears to be very friendly. More ⇉

Minor characters

Abigail Marge

Abigail Marge

a light blue fish wearing a dark blue dress. More ⇉



a orange fish that made his first debut in Valentine's Day where he got flowers. More ⇉

Debbie Rechid
Debbie Rechid

Debbie Rechid

a purple fish that wears a pink dress that goes to Boating School.



a pink fish that is often seen in the background. More ⇉

Frankie billy

Frankie Billy

a olive colored fish that can be a bit of a snob. More ⇉

Frank in boating school

Frank (red shirt)

a smallish fish that constantly gets ripped off. More ⇉



Fred (usually voiced by Mr. Lawrence) is a fish known for yelling "My leg!" in disastrous situations. More ⇉

License to Milkshake 190

Harold Bill Reginald Scott

Harold is a light blue fish that appears in numerous episodes. More ⇉

Nancy-Suzy Fish

Nancy-Suzy Fish

a female fish that appears often.

Plankton's Coustumer

Nat Peterson

A yellow fish with a purple dorsal fin on his back and blue shorts. Possibly the background character with the most appearance on the show's history. More ⇉

Sadie Rechid

Norma Rechid

An orange fish who appears in several episodes. More ⇉

Martha Rechid

Martha Smith

Martha Smith is a minor character that appears in the series. More ⇉

Appointment TV 196

Old Man Jenkins

An elderly fish who owns and works on a farm. More ⇉

Old Man Walker

Old Man Walker

An elderly fish who resides at Shady Shoals Rest Home. More ⇉



A major Krusty Krab customer who is most known for giving Mr. Krabs his millionth dollar. More ⇉

Scooter CHList


a purple fish that regularly hangs out at Goo Lagoon.

Shubie Full Body

Shubie Peterson

A female pink fish who usually wears light blue bikinis. More ⇉

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A major Krusty Krab customer who works as camera man and mattress salesman. He is also known as the "Chocolate Maniac" in the Season 3 episode "Chocolate with Nuts." More ⇉


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