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Patrick holding a time card

The term "breaking the fourth wall" is used to describe an acknowledgement by fictional characters that they are in fact fictional. In such circumstances, they will point out tropes or narrative clichés, and, on occasion, they directly address the audience.

Episodes

Season 1

  • In "Help Wanted," when SpongeBob is prepping himself says, "Look 'em straight in the eye," he briefly approaches the camera and stares at it with one eye open.
  • In "Tea at the Treedome," SpongeBob looks at the camera and points back at Sandy, currently wrestling a clam, and explains she is in trouble to the viewer.
  • In "Naughty Nautical Neighbors," Patrick looks at the camera and congratulates himself after saving Squidward from choking on his fork.
  • In "Pizza Delivery," when SpongeBob chastises Squidward during a violent windstorm, the weather suddenly comes to a brief halt, then just as suddenly resumes, as if paused.
  • In "Home Sweet Pineapple," when SpongeBob turns the whole screen upside down, Patrick slides off. He falls back down when SpongeBob turns the whole screen back up.
  • In "Jellyfish Jam," SpongeBob speaks directly to the viewer while in disguise at the start. He also mimics the French Narrator while eating bread with jellyfish jelly.
  • "Nature Pants":
    • Squidward says that he believes SpongeBob will spend eleven minutes in the wild before he returns to civilization. Eleven minutes is the average length of most episodes, including this one.
    • Later, at the end, SpongeBob faces the camera saying, "It is great to be home!"
  • In "F.U.N.," when Mr. Krabs looks through the telescope, the background that was applied to the screen when SpongeBob and Plankton spell out "fun" is reflected by the lens.
  • "SB-129":
    • While Squidward is in Nowhere, he looks directly at the camera and says, "I gotta get outta here!"
    • Squidward turns his head towards the camera after SpongeBob and Patrick say, "You are [the inventor of jellyfishing], Squidward."
  • In "Karate Choppers," Mr. Krabs looks at the camera after he says, "I love money-ay!"
  • In "The Paper," when SpongeBob plays "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on his piece of paper, Squidward acknowledges the sheet music that appears in the background.

Season 2

  • In "Your Shoe's Untied" SpongeBob asks Painty the Pirate, "Can you show me how to tie my shoes," with Painty responding, "Arr, I just be a painting of a head."
  • In "Squid's Day Off," Squidward blows away his thought bubble of SpongeBob accidentally setting the Krusty Krab on fire.
  • In "Dying for Pie," SpongeBob greets Mr. Krabs in Squidward's flashback bubble. Mr. Krabs runs off crying when he sees SpongeBob is still alive for now.
  • In "Prehibernation Week," SpongeBob acknowledges and reacts to every instance in which the metal music of Pantera plays.
  • In "Christmas Who?," when Patchy cuts Potty's strings to make him fall, a puppeteer controlling him falls down from the ceiling to the ground.
  • In "Life of Crime," Patrick questions the possibility of having a fire underwater, at which point, the fire he and SpongeBob are sitting by abruptly goes out.

Patrick points at his "dizzy clouds" and says "Hot Wings!"

  • In "Survival of the Idiots," when Patrick is dizzy and showing "dizzy clouds" of some sort of drumsticks, he points to them and says, "Hot wings!"
  • In "No Free Rides," SpongeBob and Mrs. Puff inadvertently hit the French Narrator and his camera in a boatmobile.
  • "Pressure":
    • When SpongeBob and Sandy are looking at the clouds before racing up the mountain to judge the superiority of sea or land critters, SpongeBob says one of the clouds looks like a flower. Sandy corrects him saying they all look like flowers, all the time.
    • When SpongeBob asks a seagull if he knows Sandy Cheeks, the seagull turns to the camera.
  • In "Welcome to the Chum Bucket," after the song "This Grill is Not a Home," Plankton says, "All these tears, and the show tunes?" He also seemingly tells the viewer, "I put the brain in the robot, you know!"
  • In "Graveyard Shift," Squidward gives the viewer a disturbed look once the lights start to flicker.
  • In "I'm With Stupid," SpongeBob gives the camera a confused look when Patrick goes on about his parents' visit.
  • In "Sailor Mouth," SpongeBob, Patrick, and Mr. Krabs mistake Old Man Jenkins' horn for one of the censor sounds.

Season 3

  • "The Algae's Always Greener":
    • After taking the Krabby Patty, Alternate Krabs then introduces himself to the audience by saying, "And he's finally got a Krabby Patty!" This might have actually been Krabs forcing himself into the conversation taking place between Plankton and other people inside the Krusty Krab.
    • Plankton looks at the audience in bafflement while Alternate SpongeBob is shooting clothes at Alternate Krabs.
    • Alternate Krabs asks "Huh?" directly to the camera after being shot with a bra.
  • In "Club SpongeBob," Squidward exclaims, "Why must every eleven minutes of my life be filled with misery?!" referencing the eleven-minute runtime of each episode.
  • "Can You Spare a Dime?":
    • The new narrator - voiced by Dee Bradley Baker - tells the audience that they had to hire a new narrator because the old one was tired of waiting.
    • At the end of the episode, SpongeBob changes into his maid outfit in front of the camera as Mr. Krabs and Squidward continue to argue, anticipating the inevitable.
  • In "Squilliam Returns," one of the Mini Brain SpongeBobs mentions that they don't exist and are only a "Clever Visual Metaphor for the Abstract Concept of Thought."
  • In "Krab Borg," after Squidward throws SpongeBob back into the kitchen, SpongeBob suddenly reappears to which Squidward looks around, wondering how he teleported from the kitchen back to the cash register before asking, "How did you-?"
  • In "Wet Painters," Patrick is seen holding one of the time cards. He even tells SpongeBob to move along because he is all out of them.
  • In "Krusty Krab Training Video," the Krusty Krab crew hear and occasionally converse with the narrator. Patrick acknowledges the "Talking Ceiling."
  • "Party Pooper Pants":
    • SpongeBob receives an invitation from Patchy, a character played by SpongeBob's voice actor, Tom Kenny, but is unable to read it, as the underwater environment has ruined the invitation. As soon as he notes the sender of the invitation does not understand how underwater life works, he and Patrick immediately throw their invitations into a fire.
    • After SpongeBob and Sandy do some karate in the final song, the screen cracks.
  • In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V," after the TV narrator introduces the IJLSA, he quickly adds "A subsidiary of Viacom," which is the company that owns Nickelodeon, and by extension, the SpongeBob franchise.
  • In "Clams," Mr. Krabs breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging the dramatic music while SpongeBob reels his dollar in, an ostinato in D minor, played in 4/4.
    • He then opens a double-door on the boat, which reveals an orchestra playing the same music.
    • Right after Old Bluelip swims away with Mr. Krabs' one-millionth dollar, a two second close-up shot of Mr. Krabs' eyes is shown as he gathers tears. It nearly looks like he is glaring into the camera.
    • Later, when he uses them as bait, SpongeBob and Squidward question why the clam would appear then when it would not before. The camera pans to Mr. Krabs dressed as a conductor in front of the orchestra, revealing that it is the ominous background music that draws the clam's attention.
  • In "Mid-Life Crustacean," Mr. Krabs looks directly to the audience and says, "Everything is all topsy-turvy now!"
  • In "Ugh," Patchy tips over on his dinosaur, resulting in the camera crew coming in to stand him back up.
  • In "I Had an Accident," the family at the end of the episode looks at each other with disgust and confusion, then turns off the show.
  • In "Krabby Land," SpongeBob notes on how his activities at home had gotten no acknowledgment when he mentions, "Gee, I wonder what Mr. Krabs has been up to since I saw him last and then went home to do nothing of particular interest 'til this very moment," before his speech is cut off.

SpongeBob looks at the audience.

  • "Missing Identity:"
    • When Patrick stops laughing, he says, "Sorry, people," referring to the audience.
    • The waitress says, "You've managed to kill eleven minutes," referring to the length of the episode.
    • SpongeBob looks at the viewers two times. Once when Patrick says, "Could I have another hint?" and second at the end when the waitress tells SpongeBob that she is borrowing Betty's work shirt. Both are references to Jack Benny.
  • In "The Sponge Who Could Fly," when SpongeBob lands in the feather truck, he looks at the audience and says, "I guess I spoke too soon."
  • In "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler," Squidward chuckles at the camera early on.
  • In "Pranks a Lot," Mr. Krabs talks to and shows the viewers his items of defense against ghosts.

Season 4

SpongeBob riding the bubble transition

  • "Fear of a Krabby Patty":
    • A transition appears indicating a long period of time with random objects floating by. Old Man Walker questions why he is floating.
    • Plankton, disguised as Peter Lankton, briefly looks at the camera after SpongeBob enters his "psychiatrist office."
  • In "The Lost Mattress," Squidward says, "Oh, that figures," to the camera.
  • In "Krabs vs. Plankton," SpongeBob hums the SpongeBob Closing Theme when skipping towards Mr. Krabs' office.
  • In "Have You Seen This Snail?," the Nickelodeon logo is seen on the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy Paddle Ball Set's box.
  • "Good Neighbors":
    • Squidward speaks to the audience while rambling about SpongeBob and Patrick eating up his time alone.
    • Squidward twitches his eye at the viewer once he receives the summons for the destruction that his house caused.
  • In "All That Glitters," as SpongeBob is crying over Spat, another SpongeBob appears in the foreground and tells the viewers, "All that glitters, is not gold."
  • In "Wishing You Well," Squidward looks at the viewer when he says, "It just gets better and better," when SpongeBob and Patrick are in the wishing well.
  • In "Karate Island," Gary looks at the camera briefly.
  • In "New Leaf," when the screen seemingly fades to black, Plankton appears and tells the viewer that his "retirement" for most of the episode was all a scheme to get the formula.
  • In "Bummer Vacation," SpongeBob asks the viewers if one of them could help him take him out of the toilet when SpongeBob is stuck.
  • In "Born to Be Wild," SpongeBob decides to take a shortcut and rides the bubble transition to quickly get into the Krusty Krab and warn Mr. Krabs about a gang of rogue bikers. Mr. Krabs is surprised, wondering where SpongeBob came from, but SpongeBob later states it's not important.

Season 5

  • In "Friend or Foe," young Mr. Krabs and Plankton say that they can hear Old Man Jenkins' theme song, meaning that they can hear the background music since Old Man Jenkins isn't seen playing an instrument.
  • In "Night Light," SpongeBob reads a scary novel in which the author dies before finishing the story.
  • In "Waiting," Squidward gives an annoyed look to the viewer as SpongeBob and Patrick cry.
  • In "Bucket Sweet Bucket," SpongeBob looks at the screen when he says Mr. Krabs has returned from his vacation, and the word "Exposition!" appears above his head in neon letters.
  • "Money Talks":
    • Squidward questions where the music is coming from, and nobody is seen with instruments.
    • The Flying Dutchman looks directly at the camera/audience when saying "Try saying that one three times fast."
  • In "SpongeBob vs. The Patty Gadget," Squidward gets annoyed at the fact Patchy said he had bad face acne, suggesting Squidward can hear the narration.
  • In "The Krusty Sponge," Mr. Krabs says, "I love a happy ending," at the end of the episode.
  • In "Atlantis SquarePantis," at the bottom of the title screen of the Germ Warrior game, it says "Copyright Nickelodeon 1991."
  • In "Pat No Pay," when Patrick is suffering from Krabby Patty withdrawal, SpongeBob says he needs a patty, or else he'll keep mumbling about it for the next 31/2 minutes. This is referring to the approximate amount of time remaining in that episode, which altogether is four minutes long.
  • In "Blackened Sponge" SpongeBob looks directly at the viewers when walking to the toothpaste cap.
  • In "Mermaid Man vs. SpongeBob," Plankton turns to the audience after removing the label and reveals his Mind Control Shampoo to them.
  • in "Pest of the West," Dead Eye Plankton cracks his whip to the screen after taking over the Krusty Kantina.
  • In "20,000 Patties Under the Sea," the monster looks at the screen saying, "Now that looks like dessert to me." Also near the end of the episode, Mr. Krabs looks at the viewers with an upset face when he realizes SpongeBob and Patrick let his money go.
  • "The Two Faces of Squidward":
    • Squidward talks directly to the audience when welcoming up to the Krusty Krab.
    • He later tells the viewers to remind him to fire his therapist.
    • He says to the viewers, "Well, time to go greet the commoners."
  • At the beginning of "Banned in Bikini Bottom," Squidward stares directly at the camera.
  • In "Stanley S. SquarePants," after Stanley destroys his television, SpongeBob says, "There was nothing good on TV anyway. (to the camera; annoyed) Nothing."

Season 6

  • In "Penny Foolish," Mr. Krabs speaks to the viewer after SpongeBob picks up the "penny."
  • In "Dear Vikings" the Vikings say to the viewers, "Sock'n Garten."
  • In "Slide Whistle Stooges," Squidward hides his naked body from view, as if he knows he is being watched, even though he is by himself at home.
  • In "Shuffleboarding," Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy introduce themselves to the TV audience.
  • In "Overbooked," Sandy makes an annoyed face at the screen, then crosses over the split-screen to yell at SpongeBob during their call.
  • In "No Hat for Pat," Squidward says, "I hate everyone," directly at the viewers after Patrick falls for the second time inside the Krusty Krab.
  • "Truth or Square":
    • After Squidward says he's never fallen asleep on duty, Mr. Krabs reminds him to not give him a flashback, right before a flashback begins.
    • Mr. Krabs prepares to discuss the secret formula with SpongeBob in a flashback, but (still in the flashback) notices Plankton is about to take notes and abruptly stops the flashback.
    • Patchy travels to Nickelodeon Studios, where SpongeBob is just a cartoon, like in our world. It is also mentioned that SpongeBob is voiced by Tom Kenny, who also plays Patchy.

Season 7

  • In "I ♥ Dancing", Squidward tears the screen in half at the end of SpongeBob's cane-spinning routine.
  • In "Stuck in the Wringer," after SpongeBob and Patrick melt the glue that was dried on the wringer with tears, SpongeBob looks at the screen and talks directly to the viewers, saying, "I guess crying does solve your problems after all."

    SpongeBob talking to the audience.

  • "SpongeBob's Last Stand":
    • When Mr. Krabs wants to know when the approval of the Shelly Superhighway was passed, Plankton responds, "Observe in this conveniently timed flashback."
    • Mr. Krabs hums the theme song when he cleans the tables.
    • At the end of the final song, all the characters look at the camera.
  • In "The Bad Guy Club for Villains," the end credits of the lost episode share the font and background with those that play after virtually every episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • In "A Day Without Tears," as SpongeBob cries over the song on the radio, Squidward talks directly to the viewer. A little later, he states he has "edited flashbacks together" of SpongeBob crying.

Season 8

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  • In "Drive Thru:"
    • One of Pearl's friends screamed in Squidward's ear with a megaphone. Squidward holds his ear in pain, looks at the screen and talks directly to the viewers, saying, "I'm not faking it, y'know. That really hurt... a lot."
    • When Plankton goes up to the drive-thru, he tells the viewers his plan.
  • In "A Friendly Game," the French Narrator states, "What follows is a brief construction montage," and, "We hope you enjoyed this brief construction montage." A card reading "Brief Construction Montage" also appears.
  • In "Sweet and Sour Squid," at the end of episode, a dismayed Squidward tells the audience once again that he hates people after the reed from his damaged clarinet falls off while in his grasp.
  • In "Ghoul Fools," in The Void, when Squidward finds out his torture, he says, "I guess this is the part where I start screaming," implying that he is telling the audience what happens next.
  • In "The Way of the Sponge," when Sandy comes up with an idea, she looks at the screen and talks directly to the viewers, stating what her idea was. Fuzzy Acorns asks whom she was talking to.
  • In "Fiasco!," the storyboard images for the Krusty Krab commercial shows the following scene in the episode.
    • It is possible the storyboard images shown are a part of the actual storyboard for the episode.
  • In "Planet of the Jellyfish," after the Jellien Leader's victims are thawed from the Krusty Krab freezer, Mr. Krabs asks why they're covered in goo. The French Narrator then proceeds to read an "11 Minutes Later" time card, followed by SpongeBob finishing his story on the Jelliens, once again referencing the 11-minute runtime of an average SpongeBob episode.
  • In "Hello Bikini Bottom!" during "Never Give Up," Squidward and SpongeBob, singing a duet miles apart, announce the point where they both start to play their respective instruments.

Season 9

  • In "It Came from Goo Lagoon," Plankton wipes the goo off the window so the viewer can see what he is reading.
  • In "Plankton's Pet," Plankton breaks the fourth wall by shouting, "Holy plot twist!" when Spot brings him a Krabby Patty.
  • In "Séance Shméance," Patrick says, "This is the part of the story where I run around screaming."
  • In "Kenny the Cat," shortly after SpongeBob discovers that Kenny was a fake, he looks directly at the camera and tells the viewers that he should probably seek help in getting through his depression over Kenny's fraud.
  • In "Lost in Bikini Bottom," Squidward is drawing his 'distance between two points' example on the screen. Once he realizes he doesn't understand what he's talking about, he scrambles the drawn lines and throws them into the air, resulting in SpongeBob tasting them and enjoying their strawberry flavor.
  • In "The Executive Treatment," a time card reading "Montage" appears.

    "Montage"

  • In "Company Picnic," at a certain point, SpongeBob acknowledges the fact that he is in a slow-motion scene.
  • In "Pull Up a Barrel," in Mr. Krabs' story, after Captain Scarfish tells Mr. Krabs that he has a cargo hold full of suntan lotion, and right before Squidward laughs at Mr. Krabs in the present, Captain Scarfish and Mr. Krabs look at the screen for a split second.
  • In "Patrick! The Game," at the end, Patrick says to the viewers, "Game Over."
  • In "SpongeBob LongPants":
    • When SpongeBob gets his driver's license, Mrs. Puff says while looking at the audience, "Oh, oh! Lock your doors. Bar your windows. It's the end of the world!"
    • At the end, she also knows that SpongeBob's driving license had been revoked and therefore says, "Oh, I don't know what that was about."
  • In "Two Thumbs Down," SpongeBob and Patrick's thumbs launch in the air like fireworks, and form "The End," signaling the end of the episode.
  • In "CopyBob DittoPants," Plankton says, "All the Sponge copies will fade away now."
  • In "Lame and Fortune," Ivy plays a riff on the piano after it falls on his legs.
  • In "Goodbye, Krabby Patty?" Squidward's resume shows he has been a cashier at the Krusty Krab for 17 years, which is how many years SpongeBob had been on the air by that point.
  • In "Bulletin Board," patty meat splatters on the screen when SpongeBob chops them up.
  • "Snail Mail":
    • The narrator says, "What did I tell you?" when SpongeBob discovers the mix-up in the letter.
    • The airplane SpongeBob and Patrick are flying in stops when it runs out of gas just before it hits the ground and remains suspended mid-flight. Patrick refuels the gas tank, the plane continues flying, and smashes into the ground.
  • In "Salsa Imbecilicus," Karen plays a laugh track all the times when Plankton gets humiliated.
  • In "Mutiny on the Krusty," when Mr. Krabs is fighting the monster, the customers dance in rhythm to the track "Jungle Baby."

Season 10

Whirly Brains 100.png
  • In "Whirly Brains," at the end of the episode, Squidward warns the viewers the Martians are coming and that the viewers will be their next victims.
  • In "Mimic Madness," SpongeBob breaks the fourth wall by imitating the French Narrator. Fittingly, both characters are voiced by Tom Kenny.
  • "House Worming":
    • Plankton asks the viewer if they got his joke.
    • The short ends with the worm indicating to the viewer that he'll reside with SpongeBob.
  • In "Life Insurance," Mr. Fitz sticks his hand out of SpongeBob's TV for SpongeBob to sign the Life Insurance contract.
  • "Trident Trouble":
    • The Greek chorus who narrate the episode introduce themselves to the audience.
    • When they tell SpongeBob he is misusing his power, he replies, "Not helping."
  • In "The Incredible Shrinking Sponge," when Mr. Krabs thinks of how SpongeBob could be a personal hygienist, a sign appears in his thought bubble. He then grabs it and blows the bubble away from the screen.
  • In "The Getaway," the police officers tell the audience at the end of the episode to drive safely and always wear your seat belt.
  • "Patrick's Coupon":
    • Incidental 7 makes a reference to SpongeBob SquarePants being a kids' cartoon when she says, "Looks like some sort of kids' cartoon," after acknowledging that Patrick was on the ground.
    • The moment Mr. Krabs says that he knows the weight of a coupon, Patrick's coupon is suddenly heavier.
    • The ice-cream SpongeBob and Patrick dive into splashes on the screen, forming the words "the end."
  • In "Feral Friends," Sandy communicates to the French Narrator in order to figure out how to restore her friends' sapience.

Season 11

No Pictures Please 073.png
  • In "Cave Dwelling Sponge," Perch Perkins says, "And so, the savage beast finally soothed, life in Bikini Bottom returns to normal...if only for this episode." Spongy Spongy then smashes his club into the camera, ending the episode.
  • In "Man Ray Returns," Man Ray acknowledges the narrator's existence.
  • In "No Pictures Please," Squidward opens and looks out of a flower in the sky, probably aware that the sky is just a backdrop put up to mask out the water reflection.
  • In "Stuck on the Roof," Fred breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging the fact that it is impossible to have rain underwater, even as a thunderstorm is taking place at the time.
  • In "Krabby Patty Creature Feature," Patrick, who is still a Krabby Patty creature, pulls a part of himself and tells the viewers to "have some" before the episode ended.
  • In "Teacher's Pests," when Mrs. Puff hits Plankton with the tree, he points at stars over his head and says, "Beautiful stars!" then SpongeBob hits himself with the tree to get the stars but Mrs. Puff takes them.
  • In "Sanitation Insanity," when the wind blows through SpongeBob's pores, they whistle the theme song ending.
  • In "Bunny Hunt," Bunny Wunny plays "Puka A" on his ukulele.
  • In "Squid Noir," Squidward asks SpongeBob to stop interrupting his narration for a scene.
  • In "Pat the Horse," SpongeBob says, "Horsey? That's not right," to the viewers.
  • "Old Man Patrick":
    • SpongeBob sings the theme song to help Patrick remember who he is.
    • The jellyfish in Patrick's thought bubble shocks him and the sand covers him. The bubble also pops and it gets in his eyes.
  • In "Doodle Dimension," DoodleBob draws "The End" on the screen.
  • "Moving Bubble Bass":
    • After SpongeBob and Patrick's pants rip, they hide their rear ends from the audience.
    • Every time Patrick thinks of free lunch, SpongeBob gets rid of his thought bubble.
  • In "My Leg!"
    • After SpongeBob is done flashing back to the time he ran over Fred's leg, SpongeBob wiggles his body and says, "Flashbacks tickle."
    • The ending transition breaks Fred's leg.
Squidward squirting out ink.gif
  • In "Ink Lemonade," the episode ends with Squidward spraying ink on the screen, making it black.
  • In "Mustard O' Mine," SpongeBob notes several sorts of miners to Patrick, followed by a group of children SpongeBob calls "unaccompanied minors." One of the children plays a rim shot on the drums in response.
  • In "Shopping List," Plankton speaks to the viewer a few times when he's in the yeti crab's cave.
  • In "Patnocchio," Karen introduces the story to the viewer. Also, Plankton interacts with the light bulbs above his and Patrick's heads. Thirdly, Pearl speaks to the viewer in the commercial parody. Finally, Karen addresses the viewer as she wraps up the story.
  • In "Plankton Paranoia," when SpongeBob is whispering to Squidward about plans, Mr. Krabs then looks down directly to the viewers.
  • In "Library Cards," as Patrick absorbs knowledge, SpongeBob drums along to the background music. Also, at the end of the episode when Patrick throws a book in SpongeBob's mouth, SpongeBob turns to the camera to show "The End" on the cover.
  • In "Call the Cops," Old Man Jenkins says hello to the viewer the first time he appears.
  • "Goons on the Moon":
    • when Squidward is trying to find the escape route from the moon, he ends up in the actual Nickelodeon studio where he sees his voice actor, Rodger Bumpass.
    • SpongeBob winks at the camera at the end after becoming a temporary moon.
  • "Karen's Virus":
    • Karen throws a boat in the sky, hitting and knocking down one of the flower clouds.
    • Karen sings a warped version of the theme song in her delusional state.
  • In "The Grill is Gone," SpongeBob uses two brushes to scrub the screen, also creating a transition in the process.
  • In "Bubbletown," bubble soap splashes on the screen when SpongeBob pops the bubble ducks.
  • In "Girls' Night Out," Sandy creates a split screen when she's calling Karen and Mrs. Puff.
  • In "Squirrel Jelly," at the end of the episode after Patrick asks "Which one is Sandy?" he looks at the audience with a goofy grin and laughs before getting an iris shot right in his face.
  • In "The String," SpongeBob erases the entire cartoon universe by pulling on the titular string.

Season 12

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  • In "Gary & Spot," Sandy narrates the entire episode to the viewers.
  • "The Nitwitting":
    • Patrick rides into the screen and cracks it.
    • The Empty Heads sing their theme song directly to the camera a few times.
  • "The Ballad of Filthy Muck":
    • The fish in the restroom, in response to Krabs sniffing around his stall, says, "Can't please everyone," to the viewer.
    • The fish with a large nose looks at the viewers when he says, "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat."
  • In "Pineapple RV," Squidward looks at the viewer when he says, "Well, I'm a monster."
  • In "Stormy Weather," Gale Doppler says he'll capture Drizzle, "after these messages," which is followed by Debbie spoofing an infomercial by asking the viewers if they are constipated and showing them the product.
  • "Swamp Mates:"
    • The Chief sticks his hand out of the screen when he hears Mama Bass.
    • Patrick looks at the viewers when Bubble Bass takes back his Wonder Whale.
    • He also states that Bubble Bass was "dead for ten minutes," around the actual time period between when Bubble Bass and Patrick entered the swamp and when Bubble Bass wakes up.
  • In "Sandy's Nutty Nieces," Sandy's nieces look directly at the camera.
  • In "Insecurity Guards," Squidward's painting smiles and laughs at the viewers at the end of the episode.
  • "Karen's Baby":
    • When SpongeBob suddenly appears at the Chum Bucket, an unseen audience can be heard cheering as if it were a sitcom and SpongeBob then bows down to the mysterious audience.
    • When the weird machine and his minions start chasing Plankton, Chip calls out, "Father!" Plankton tells the viewers to wait till he rubs that Chip's first word was "Father!" in Karen's face.
    • After Chip as a full grown ATM is seen messing with Mr. Krabs by constantly swiping his withdrawn money away, Plankton tells the viewers, "That's my boy!" at the very end of the episode.
  • In "Jolly Lodgers," when Squidward asks the boat salesman shark if he is the manager of the hotel, he says, "No, I just play one on TV," referring to his one time role as a hotel manager in the episode.
  • "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout":
    • The French narrator is seen holding the "One little boost to the surface later..." time card, and everyone in the tour bus says bye to him.
    • The birthday song is sung to the tune of the opening theme.
    • At the end of the episode when SpongeBob is telling his age to Patrick, static interrupts him and he plays his nose like a flute and the TV screen shuts off.
  • "SpongeBob in RandomLand":
    • Squidward looks at the audience saying, "Of course!" when SpongeBob catches up with him.
    • He later tells the audience that he hates his life.
    • In the upside-down house, the realtor moves the screen upside-down and towards SpongeBob.
    • The funny lady breaks the fourth wall at the end of the episode.
    • A worm goes through the circle iris, and shows its teeth to the viewers, in which it shows, "End."
  • In "Handemonium," SpongeBob sings the theme song to bring in Hans.
  • In "Breakin'," Mr. Krabs says that SpongeBob has to take a 5-minute break when 5 minutes are remaining in the episode. Also, SpongeBob only needs one five-minute break every twenty years, which is a reference to the fact that the show was celebrating its twentieth anniversary in the year that this episode premiered.
  • In "Boss for a Day," the worker fish tells the viewers, "Hey, a penny!" right before he starts going after the rolling penny Mr. Krabs was after.

The Flying Dutchman's jumpscare.

  • In "The Goofy Newbie," SpongeBob plays the theme song ending with his nose like a flute while sitting on Patrick's home.
  • In "The Ghost of Plankton," the Flying Dutchman loudly announces the end of the episode to the audience.
  • In "Lighthouse Louie," Mrs. Puff says that she's been tossing stuff in her lighthouse for 20 years, which is a reference to the fact that the show was celebrating its 20th anniversary around the time this episode was produced.
  • In "A Cabin in the Kelp," Karen, Sandy, Mrs. Puff, and Pearl smash their faces onto the television screen at the very end. Also Pearl looks directly at the camera and says, "She must be psychic."
  • In "The Hankering," Plankton tells the viewers "Get it, upper hand?" after he crushes SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs with a giant robotic fist.
  • In "Escape from Beneath Glove World," a glove robot speaks to the viewers after the animatronic Hieronymus Glove decides to go after SpongeBob and Patrick for revenge.

Season 13

  • At the end of "A Place for Pets," Squidward stops the iris out to sneeze one final time, and when the iris out closes, it snaps on his nose and he tries to pull it out of the iris.
  • In "Under the Small Top," Squidward breaks the fourth wall by asking the viewers "Why is this happening to me?"
  • "The Big Bad Bubble Bass":
    • SpongeBob plays the theme song ending with his nose like a flute prior to the vault being unlocked.
    • Squidward breaks the fourth wall by scolding at Karen the Blue Fairy and blaming her fairy tale for the destruction of his house.
  • In "Upturn Girls," Narlene claims that it is like walking in a TV show.
  • In "Say Awww!," SpongeBob looks at the camera and tells the viewers that he'll go into an alley.

Video games

Battle for Bikini Bottom (Rehydrated)

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"I can turn into a skyscraper!"
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SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis

  • If SpongeBob wears all the aviator customizations, he will state it is cold, and comments that the television screen needs to be heated.
  • In Snap Happy!, SpongeBob breaks the fourth wall while wishing that he could continue to take pictures as if this adventure was a game.
  • In Tour Trouble!, SpongeBob says that being in the Science Room is like being in a TV.
  • Once in Money Krabbing!, when he mentions that he should have a TV show, he then thinks that would not be a good idea, asking, "Who would watch a show called, 'SpongeBob SquarePants?'"

Operation Krabby Patty

  • The fourth wall is broken when Plankton politely asks the artist to put the elevator in the correct location with a paintbrush visible.

SpongeBob Marbles & Slides

  • In the level The Dutchman's Pinball, Plankton breaks the fourth wall by saying, "I bet most players figured it out on the first level!"

SpongeBob's Game Frenzy

  • If one wins the "Pickles" game, some of the pickles will hit the screen and slide off it.
  • If one loses the "Ripped Pants" game, SpongeBob gets angry at the player.
  • If one loses the "Plankton's Good Eye" game, Plankton will hit the screen and crack it.

Employee of the Month

  • If one clicks on the Operation Krabby Patty poster inside WSEA TV, SpongeBob breaks the fourth wall by saying, "Ooh, Operation Krabby Patty, that was my very first game. Good times, good times."
    • However, it is not the first video game centered around SpongeBob; Legend of the Lost Spatula is. Operation Krabby Patty is, however, the first SpongeBob game for PC.

The SquarePants Mysteries

  • Patrick tells SpongeBob that he is on TV, thus breaking the play's fourth wall as he is not supposed to know that SpongeBob is watching.

Shorts

Amusement park rides

  • In "Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast," SpongeBob breaks the fourth wall during the Bikini Bottom scene. While being flung around through the town, he calls out to the fish, saying, "Hello, secondary characters!"

Movies

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

  • The seat of SpongeBob's pants folds open while he is preparing for his "promotion," revealing his butt. He then hides it from the audience in slight embarrassment.
  • Plankton breaks the fourth wall by saying that Plan Z is "lemon scented" while looking at the audience.
  • Plankton breaks the fourth wall by looking at the viewers when SpongeBob says, "Well, good luck with that."
  • Squidward looks directly at the audience while discussing how happy he is that SpongeBob is not around.
  • Squidward says to the viewers, "Some people have no taste in head gear."
  • When King Neptune rages for losing his crown, Plankton, overhearing through a payphone, looks at the audience saying, "Plan Z, I love Plan Z!"
  • SpongeBob says, "We'll be in Shell City in one more verse," referring how they sing "Now That We're Men" most of the time they spend in the trench.
  • Patrick also references the song under the heat lamp by weakly singing, "You mean we're not gonna get the crown, save the town and Mr. Krabs?"

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

  • A fish breaks the fourth wall by saying, "All secondary characters come with me," just as SpongeBob and his friends are about to continue their journey on the surface of the ocean.
  • During the rap battle between the seagulls and Bubbles, Painty the Pirate says, "You're making the movie too long."
  • Burger Beard writes "The End" in cursive, and the voice actors of the main characters start passing onscreen, until the seagull rips the paper out.
  • When Sandy is ranting about the page that says The End, she looks directly at the screen, indicating she was talking to the audience.
  • In the credits, Pearl complains, "This dance is so last year!" possibly referencing how delays in the movie's production caused it to be released a year after its intended date.
  • In the credits, Squidward hears the "Squeeze Me" song by N.E.R.D and says this song needs interpretive dancing and starts dancing to it in a similar manner to his dance in "Culture Shock."
  • When the mother pushing the baby in the stroller says "SpongeBob" this might mean that SpongeBob is set in a universe where they are also fictional. However, some humans in the movie seem to not know about the show's existence as they react strangely to him and his friends.
  • When SpongeBob and Patrick eat the cotton candy, Sandy says they're going to travel around the world. They seem to travel the world, but in reality Sandy is using backgrounds to give this illusion.
  • When Sandy is running around weirdly she literally says, "Incoherent muttering," which is what she is doing and what the closed captions indicate she is doing.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

  • While being driven by Otto, Patrick says, "This is gonna be like a buddy movie."

Spinoffs

The Patrick Star Show

  • In "Late for Breakfast," Patrick tells the viewers that, "You gotta be fast or the food's all gone."
  • Near the end of "Bummer Jobs," Squidina tells the porpoise after saying a bad word, which was bad word number 11 from "Sailor Mouth," that they are in a family show.

Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years

  • In "Tag, You're It," SpongeBob tags the camera through the iris, as if he was tagging one of the viewers.

Mr. Krabs' wireframe "skeleton."

  • In "Cabin of Curiosities," when Lady Upturn blows up the pile of money and gems, Mr. Krabs' wireframe body is shown and he looks at the camera and screams as if he knows the audience can see him "naked."

Other

The SpongeBob Musical

  • Characters often interact with the conductor.
  • During "Bikini Bottom Day," SpongeBob tells Patrick that he is "singing an opening number."
  • At one point, during his hellos, SpongeBob greets the live percussionist serving as the sound effects artist.
    • In the televised version, after his other greetings, SpongeBob greets all the viewers at home.
  • The Electric Skates give Squidward a list so long, it actually crashes onto the conductor's keyboard, and causes chaos among the pit musicians, one of whom is heard yelling, "My leg!"
  • At the end of Act One, the French Narrator tells the audience to "enjoy your last intermission ever." This line is replaced in the TV version since there is no intermission, but several ad breaks.
  • During "Bikini Bottom Boogie," two ensemble members appear in the audience acting as crazy Electric Skate fans recording the song with a "shell phone," and at one point, take a "shellfie" with one lucky audience member. The photos were then posted onto the show's Instagram account.
  • During the climax, Plankton and Karen appear in the audience to blast the top of Mt. Humongous to cause an avalanche.

Trivia

  • Season 11 is the season with most fourth wall breaks, with thirty five in total.
    • Season 7 is the season with the least, with only four.
    • "SpongeBob in RandomLand" is the episode with the most fourth wall breaks, with a total of five.

Video

Every_Time_SpongeBob_Breaks_the_4th_Wall_💥🧱

Every Time SpongeBob Breaks the 4th Wall 💥🧱

Top_10_Times_SpongeBob_Squarepants_Broke_the_4th_Wall

Top 10 Times SpongeBob Squarepants Broke the 4th Wall

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