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As the protagonists of the show and next door neighbors, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star have arguably the closest relationship in the series. Though the two might not be the brightest bulbs in the socket, SpongeBob and Patrick make one heck of a team, though most of the time their wacky antics only serve to land them in deep water without even trying. Though the two are inseparable almost every waking moment, there have been times where the two have not been the closest buds. The list mentioned below is for the number of times the two have fought.
Thickness of friendship
SpongeBob and Patrick, as revealed in the episode "The Secret Box," have been best friends since they were born. It was seen in episodes "SB-129," "Ugh," and "Pest of the West"; that their friendship even extends back to their ancestors and passes down to their descendants, which shows their friendship runs deep in their families.
The two have been certified members of the "Best Friends Forever Club", since they were very little, and to signify it, have rings of the club. SpongeBob is one of the very few people who doesn't openly criticize Patrick for his brainlessness, and instead is the only one who thinks Patrick is smarter than himself (the reasons he considers him a good adviser). However, SpongeBob did acknowledge that Patrick was an idiot in Patrick SmartPants which means he is actually aware the latter isn't that smart and really humors him.
At times, Patrick often tries to give SpongeBob the best advice he has even if it seems very illogical as seen when he told SpongeBob there is always a shortcut in Lost in Bikini Bottom. He also is shown to go to great lengths to keep the latter as a friend, as when SpongeBob gave up his regular life to live with jellyfish; Patrick tried to make SpongeBob his "trophy" just so that he and SpongeBob could be together again. He also shows great sorrow when not around SpongeBob, which he has mentioned frequently. He even followed SpongeBob to the bitter end on their journey to Shell City. Though he has been on bad terms with SpongeBob many times throughout the series, they always come back together as best friends. SpongeBob rushed to warn Patrick of the danger of the giant patty before they are saved by Sandy in "The Krabby Patty That Ate Bikini Bottom".
Despite this, SpongeBob is also very giving and selfless to Patrick, as there have been times where SpongeBob even lent him his brain without thinking twice. On occasion, Patrick can return this feeling such as when he got angry and threatened both Squidward Tentacles and Sheldon J. Plankton for even considering the suggestion of hurting SpongeBob in "Mimic Madness." Also, in "SpongeBob You're Fired," he defends SpongeBob from insults by his forehead by punching him and telling not to talk his friend in a cruel manner like that. During "Trident Trouble", he tries to comfort SpongeBob on his mistakes until he sees all the destruction the latter has caused to the town and agrees that he had ruined everything.
However, Patrick is usually emotionless, becomes very sad when SpongeBob befalls some bad fate and does his best to his extent to help and advise him. In the episode "Home Sweet Pineapple," Patrick allowed SpongeBob to sleep in his rock with him, let alone the bad results. The two often repent their mistakes after they fight, and usually get bored if one of them is not around, and starts crying.
- Jellyfishing - SpongeBob and Patrick's favorite time pass. SpongeBob has the knowledge and Patrick has more skill, and together they spend a lot of time catching Jellyfish, taking jam, then letting them go.
- Watching Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy - The two absolutely love the old show, and in the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy," the two get their heroes out of retirement, and even love them to the point that they are oblivious to the fact that the newer series on the television are not as interesting. They also pretend to be Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy in the same episode.
- Snowball fighting - In "Snowball Effect," the two start a snowball fight, to the point that some of their snowballs go into Squidward's house and break his lime tea and put out the fireplace. However, the two eventually drive Squidward into the state that he throws snowballs at no one in particular, shouting battle and victory cries, to which the duo are oblivious.
- Ruining Squidward's Day - In "Home Sweet Pineapple," SpongeBob, upon learning that his house is actually shrinking, calls Squidward in an attempt of vain, to which he asks "Is it time already for you to ruin my day?," and when his shellphone too shrinks away, Squidward says "Yep, I guess it is!". Patrick, who hears all the commotion, opens his rock and asks, "Hey Sponge, is it time already to ruin Squid's Day? Don't start without me!," and rushes out wearing a suit and a bow tie for the occasion.
- Doing "good deeds" - SpongeBob, who constantly does tasks to "Help" people, asks Patrick often for his wise advice, which makes the situation worse.
- Visiting Glove World! - On several occasions, the two go to Glove World! amusement park, usually for heck and/or riding dangerous rides. In "Tunnel of Glove," SpongeBob accidentally ends up in a love boat with Pearl and the ride suddenly stops, while Patrick restlessly looks for, and eventually "Finds SpongeBob"(actually a power device for the tunnel system resembling his best friend, which he breaks away with, causing more trouble and finally getting SpongeBob and Pearl out). However, Patrick is completely oblivious, and gives his "Best Friend" some junk food, insisting him to eat it.
- Eating out and Partying at Goofy Goober's Ice Cream Party Boat - In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, they go to a kid's ice cream parlor, where they have Goober Meals (a burger and a drink) and the Triple Gooberberry Sunrise ice creams, and party out with the other kids and hit the stage with the Goofy Goober peanut himself.
- Bubble blowing - SpongeBob and Patrick are experts (though mostly Patrick has zero talent) bubble blowers. The two have taken the art of blowing bubbles to the level of sending voice messages in them ("Naughty Nautical Neighbors") and blowing bubbles in the form of objects or animals ("Bubblestand"), for which SpongeBob has a technique. In Atlantis SquarePantis, SpongeBob has a high-tech bubble soap and a wand for blowing a massive pink bubble, which takes them to the caves of Bikini Bottom.
- Golfing - In "A Friendly Game," SpongeBob and Patrick were prepared to go play miniature golf. Unfortunately, their day was ruined by the change in weather. So the two create their own mini-golf course inside SpongeBob's house. Patrick is shown to be very competitive when participating in golf and has been seen trying to make SpongeBob mess up his aim.
- Arts & Crafts - In "The Googly Artiste," SpongeBob and Patrick were seen making a wooden birdhouse, woven baskets and crafts, and rocks with googly eyes. Patrick has difficulty with his rock, so SpongeBob helps him out. A moment later, Patrick makes a googly-eyed rock which is immediately praised by an art critic and the other Bikini Bottomites.
Times the two have not been friends or fought
Despite their strong friendship, there have been times where even SpongeBob is aware of Patrick's lack of intelligence such as "Hooky" where he couldn't give an answer to Patrick about who to listen to him or Mr. Krabs. He has sometimes become frustrated with Patrick's stupidity such as "Stuck in the Wringer" (where Patrick trapped him), "Glove World R.I.P." (where Patrick stupidly hid the key and left them trapped) and "Hide and Then What Happens?" (in which Patrick continuously forgets hide and seek).
Patrick can even be selfish to SpongeBob such as "Yours, Mine and Mine,” “The Fish Bowl,” “Big Sister Sam,” and "Sing a Song of Patrick." Patrick was even willing to allow SpongeBob to be taken by ghosts in "Ghoul Fools" just to save himself. It also revealed in "Gone" that Patrick finds SpongeBob's laugh annoying, which means even he has little tolerance for his friend.
Times the two have not been friends
- In "Naughty Nautical Neighbors," Squidward tries to get SpongeBob and Patrick to be enemies so they will stop bothering him with their messages through bubbles (probably mistaken that they weren't really trying to annoy him on purpose and they were only minding their business as they were just playing with each other). He decides to send them both bad messages through bubbles that they think are from each other, causing the two fight and decide that they cannot be friends (unaware that Squidward is the one who's causing this). This leads to them both wanting to be Squidward's best friend and try to make each other jealous by competing with his friendship, Squidward gets sick of this and devises a plan to invite them both to a dinner party at his house, in an attempt to get them to be friends again, as them being enemies is worse for him than them being friends. At the dinner party, the two accidentally blow up Squidward's house with soda bubbles while he is gone, and become friends again, with Squidward angrily kicks them both out of his house.
- In "Fry Cook Games," Patrick, telling SpongeBob that it is easy being a Fry Cook, competes with SpongeBob in the games, becoming the Chum Bucket's fry cook. They fight each other in the wrestling competition, and Mr. Krabs and Plankton try to convince their employees that they are not really friends. They become friends again after they realize that each of them has their underwear in the color of the other, It ends with Mr. Krabs and Plankton yelling at them as they walk off into the sunset.
- In "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve, SpongeBob is mad at Patrick for not coming over to help, and the duo have a big fight. But when Junior jumps out of an apparently two-story window, the two stop fighting and call themselves bad parents, beginning to hug each other, sobbing.
- In "New Student Starfish," Patrick gets SpongeBob in trouble when he comes to school with him one day. He draws a mean caricature of Mrs. Puff that SpongeBob gets blamed for, gets SpongeBob seat moved to the back of the class, and gets one of SpongeBob's good noodle stars removed. When the two fake-fight in the hallway, Mrs. Puff gives them both detention, where they both insult each other and say that they hate each other until they see that the light bulb keeping the class pet Roger's egg alive needs to be replaced. They quickly spring into action, SpongeBob holding and protecting the egg while Patrick goes to get light bulbs. Near the ending, after they both save Roger, Mrs. Puff gives them both good noodle stars and they become friends again.
- In "Patrick SmartPants," Patrick becomes smart and loses interest in the activities he and SpongeBob do together.
- In "Driven to Tears," Patrick stupidly eats SpongeBob's driving notes but motivates him to take the test but he fails. Patrick takes the test and passes as SpongeBob gets jealous of Patrick for receiving his license and a brand new boat, which he shows off to him. SpongeBob tries unsuccessfully to get Patrick arrested for speeding but fails before yelling at Patrick for his reckless driving. Patrick questions his anger as SpongeBob shouts if Patrick hadn't eaten his notes he would have passed as Patrick is upset at his lack of support before SpongeBob rips up his license in anger, which makes the police blame Patrick for littering and arrest him. Patrick gets put in jail and SpongeBob feels bad, leading to him admitting that he was the one who littered. After paying his debt to society, SpongeBob makes Patrick a plate for his boat. Patrick tells him that he had already thrown his boat away because it was on "E", and it ends with the two playing with each other happily.
- In "The Battle of Bikini Bottom" the two have a fight between clean and dirty, after witnessing a re-enactment of "The Battle of Bikini Bottom." They decide that they can't be friends anymore, and SpongeBob tries to stay clean and get Patrick clean as well, with Patrick doing the opposite. They become friends again at the end of the episode after SpongeBob tells Patrick that they should recall what brings them together and not what divides them.
- In "To Save a Squirrel," SpongeBob and Patrick try to eat each other because they're trapped in a cave and they're convinced that it is the only way to survive.
- In “To SquarePants or Not to SquarePants,” Patrick keeps SpongeBob on the phone too long with his spluttering, which makes SpongeBob's pants shrink in the washer. He later thinks SpongeBob is a stranger when he is wearing round pants, and later does not let him into his own house, because he thinks that SpongeBob left Bikini Bottom, when he really did not.
- In “Yours, Mine and Mine,” SpongeBob buys a meal for him and Patrick to share. However, Patrick doesn't share the meal and eats it all himself. SpongeBob buys Patty Pal a toy made by Mr. Krabs. Patrick says it is their toy, while bringing up SpongeBob's words about sharing, ignoring the fact that he ate the meal himself. Patrick takes a turn with the toy, but does not let SpongeBob have a turn. The next day, they fight over it, until Patrick eats it, claiming that if he can't have it, no one can. Mr. Krabs then gives them each a new one, and says each one is $13.50. Patrick says he will pay, but takes/steals SpongeBob's wallet to pay. After stating it is his, Patrick asks if he's learned nothing about sharing. This episode shows that Patrick likes to keep things to himself and knows nothing about sharing.
- In "You Don't Know Sponge," SpongeBob realizes that he and Patrick can't be friends for at least a few days after he sees that Patrick answered every question wrong about SpongeBob on a "best friends quiz" on a magazine. SpongeBob realizes that it is too hard to not be friends with Patrick and the two become friends again near the end.
- In "Squidward's School for Grown-Ups," Squidward teaches Patrick how to be mature and Patrick ends up being Squidward's best friend, and not liking SpongeBob. When Patrick and Squidward went to "The Famed Bikini Bottom Opera House," SpongeBob sang Patrick an opera song to win him back.
Times when the two have fought but remained friends
- In "Valentine's Day," SpongeBob and Sandy have a Valentine's Day surprise gift planned for Patrick: a giant chocolate balloon. SpongeBob takes Patrick to the carnival while Patrick tries to guess what SpongeBob got him. The balloon's delivery gets delayed due to chocolate-eating scallops attacking Sandy and the balloon. Patrick gets angry, thinking SpongeBob didn't get him a gift, and goes on a rampage, destroying the carnival and frightening all of Bikini Bottom. Standing on a deck at the carnival, Patrick prepares to hurt SpongeBob and other innocent victims, while Sandy arrives with the balloon. SpongeBob and the fish all try to get Patrick to turn around and see the balloon. Patrick refuses to do this until Sandy greets him. When he sees the balloon, Patrick becomes overjoyed and accidentally pops the balloon, leading SpongeBob and Patrick to get covered with chocolate. At the ending, Patrick tells SpongeBob that he didn't need to get him anything.
- In "Big Pink Loser," Patrick receives an award that is meant for SpongeBob. After discovering that it is not his and that SpongeBob has received so many awards, Patrick desperately wants to win an award, so he gets a job at the Krusty Krab. After successfully removing a lid from a jar, Patrick decides to copy everything that SpongeBob does exactly, from the clothes SpongeBob wears to repeating everything he says. SpongeBob eventually becomes angry about this and the two run home arguing and yelling at each other, and SpongeBob dresses up like Patrick as revenge for Patrick copying him. Patrick becomes sad and tells SpongeBob that all he wants is to win an award. All of a sudden, a truck drives by, dropping off an award that is meant for Patrick: "for doing absolutely nothing longer than anyone else." The two stop being angry at each other and Patrick goes to "protect his title."
- In "Life of Crime," after they pop a balloon that they believed they borrowed, the two run away from Bikini Bottom. Patrick blames SpongeBob for popping the balloon and thinks he ate his candy bar that he had already eaten. SpongeBob teases Patrick by showing off his candy bar, and the two run to the police office to turn each other in. In the end, Patrick believes that either SpongeBob or one of the police officers ate his lollipop which he had already eaten.
- In "Dumped," SpongeBob is taking Gary home and tells him to say goodbye to Patrick. This angers Patrick, who tells SpongeBob that he needs to let Gary choose who he wants to stay with. SpongeBob is upset when Gary chooses Patrick over him.
- In "The Secret Box," Patrick won't let SpongeBob see the inside of his "Secret Box." SpongeBob gets angry and worried, and Patrick gets mad at SpongeBob for not respecting its secrecy. However, eventually, he lets SpongeBob see it.
- In "Pranks a Lot," the two fight for who gets the invisible spray first, and instead spray each other's body parts invisible. This is a very loose argument however and they still remain friends, but terrorizing all of Bikini Bottom.
- In "Waiting," SpongeBob briefly yelled at Patrick while he is waiting for his toy. He later yelled at him again when he “breaks” the toy.
- In What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?, Patrick insulted SpongeBob after the latter destroyed a cake for he made for his mother. When he discovered SpongeBob left town because of it, he felt guilty for his words and searched for him.
- In "Stuck in the Wringer," SpongeBob scolded Patrick for getting him stuck in the wringer, and for not helping him at all (and also blinded by the point that Patrick tried to help, but SpongeBob was blinded by his general stupidity), Patrick runs off crying and all the Bikini Bottomites turn on SpongeBob telling him that he deserved what he has gotten, sending SpongeBob in deep depression. SpongeBob and Patrick become friends again in the end where they cry together, melting the forever glue.
- In "Sand Castles in the Sand," SpongeBob and Patrick destroy each other's sand castles over and over until eventually, they realize that this was stupid and they went too far.
- In "A Friendly Game," SpongeBob and Patrick fight throughout the entire episode, during their game of "indoor miniature golf."
- In "The Fish Bowl," Patrick was told by Sandy that he is in charge during her behavioral experiment. However, Patrick got carried away with being in charge and selfishly took advantage of his own privileges and took advantage of SpongeBob by making him do whatever he tells him to do. He torments SpongeBob by spilling the black sand all over the white sand after he has finished counting them. He also ate SpongeBob's ice cream cone and his bowl of ice cream in order to torment him further. When SpongeBob tries to leave, Patrick traps SpongeBob by locking the door and says that he isn't leaving until he says so. As a result, Patrick and SpongeBob look ready to fight each other. After Sandy explained everything that's been happening, Patrick realized he was being incredibly selfish to his friend and felt remorseful about his actions.
- In "Appointment TV," Patrick forces SpongeBob to find his home in an Impound Yard despite his objections. He even ignores SpongeBob's pleas to ride him back home. Later in the evening, he, along with Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Sandy, Larry, Plankton, Gary, and Mrs. Puff, saw how completely sad SpongeBob was when he missed the lost episode of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy and realized that he took advantage of his kindness. In order to make it up to his friend, he and the others put on a play in recitation of the lost episode.
- During The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Patrick joined SpongeBob and Plankton's team only to immediately sell them out for a Krabby Patty. He kept them in place as the mob approached, but the two escaped as Patrick stupidly asked if he was still on the team. Patrick later joined SpongeBob and they fought against Burger Beard the Pirate and were able to reclaim the Krabby Patty secret formula.